Responding to disproportionate risks that African American and Hispanic children face in motor vehicle-related crashes, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center today announced the expansion of the safety education program Buckle Up for Life to Orange County. Buckle Up for Life – or Abrochate a la Vida in Spanish – is the only national program of its kind. This is the first time the program will be available in Orange County, joining seven other Buckle Up for Life locations nationwide. To view a video about Buckle Up for Life, please click here.
Research analyzed by medical experts at Cincinnati Children’s – a national leader in pediatric and adolescent medicine – shows that, due to multiple factors, African American and Hispanic children are significantly less likely than non-African American and non-Hispanic children to be buckled up in seat belts or car seats.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. between the ages of 1 and 12.[i]
Three out of every four car seats are not used or installed correctly[ii] and almost 50% of fatally injured children were unrestrained at the time of a crash.[iii]
African American and Hispanic children are as much as ten times more likely than Caucasian children to be unrestrained while traveling in a car. [iv]
In crashes involving fatalities in children under 14, seat belt use is lower among African Americans than among all other race or ethnic groups. [v]
Hispanic children are significantly less likely to be buckled up than non-Hispanic children across all age groups.[vi]
In one pilot city, Buckle Up for Life nearly tripled the number of children properly restrained in seat belts and car seats among the families who participated. [vii] The program was founded and is jointly led by Cincinnati Children’s and Toyota, in coordination with local hospital partners, such as Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Toyota and local hospital partners are doubling the reach of Buckle Up for Life
The expansion of Buckle Up for Life to Orange County is part of an effort by Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s to double the program’s reach. The Orange County program joins other new programs in Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Houston. Buckle Up for Life programs are already in place with local hospital partners in Chicago, Cincinnati, and San Antonio, and the program has also been deployed successfully in Los Angeles.
Working in close coordination with local churches, Buckle Up for Life meets people in their own community. The program’s experts work closely with local clergy to reach parents, caregivers and children with critical, interactive and culturally sensitive safety information and expanded access to car seats.