Responding to disproportionate risks that African American and Hispanic children face in motor vehicle-related crashes, Texas Children’s Hospital, Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center announced that they are bringing the safety education program Buckle Up for Life to Houston. 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 Houston.

Research analyzed by medical experts at Cincinnati Children’s shows that African American and Hispanic children are more likely than other children to die in motor vehicle crashes. Studies also show 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.
— The leading cause of fatal unintentional injury in 2009 at Texas Children’s Hospital was motor vehicle crashes.[ii] In addition, motor vehicle crashes were responsible for 53 percent of all unintentional child deaths in the Houston/Harris County area between 2006 and 2007.
— Three out of every four car seats in the U.S. are not used or installed correctly and almost 50 percent of fatally injured children across the country were unrestrained at the time of a crash.
— In crashes involving fatalities in children under age 14 nationally, seat belt use was lower among African Americans than among all other race or ethnic groups.
— Hispanic children are significantly less likely to be buckled up than non-Hispanic children across all age groups.

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