Buckle up for life

Buckle up for life
Three-out-of-four car seats in the U.S. are improperly installed.  It’s an alarming fact that got the attention of a trio of Toyota dealerships in the northeast.
 
The dealers took note and decided to act – hosting child safety-seat events at their businesses.  As part of the dealer events, at-risk families were provided free car safety seats.
 
The participating dealers were: Toyota Sansone Auto Mall of Avenel, N.J.; Towne Toyota of Ledgewood, N.J.; and Copeland Toyota of Brockton, Mass.
 
Providing counsel and working closely with the dealers was Buckle Up for Life (BUFL), a national child-passenger safety program created by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota in 2004.
 
“We are taking advantage of Buckle Up for Life to bring this to our local residents,” said Dave Salsido, president, Sansone Auto Mall.  “We are part of the community and want to ensure parents are properly buckling up their children in car seats.”


 
Mission accomplished.
 
“We are excited to work with Toyota dealers and bring our program directly to these communities,” said Gloria DelCastillo, BUFL’s senior specialist of community engagement.  “It’s important we work one-on-one with families to make sure they are installing their child’s safety seat properly.  Every infant riding in a properly installed car seat has a seventy-one percent reduced risk of death.”
 
At each event, the dealers opened their businesses to dozens of local families to participate in the passenger safety-awareness program.  There, BUFL “Certified Child Passenger Safety” technicians helped educate parents and caretakers.  Parents/caretakers were given hands-on instruction on passenger safety and got to practice on proper car-seat installation.
 
“I value the safety of my child,” said parent participant, Stephanie Otero.  “When driving in a vehicle you can’t control what happens on the road.  The fact I got my car seat checked today makes me a little bit more reassured that she is safe.”
 
Since 2004, BUFL, a program of Cincinnati Children’s and Toyota have distributed over 69,000 child-safety seats free of charge across the U.S. to families in need.  The only national program of its kind, BUFL strives to educate and empower parents, grandparents, and caretakers to protect our tiniest citizens through passenger and car-seat safety.  All told, nearly 140,000 people have been reached and educated.
 
For more information on Buckle Up for Life, head to buckleupforlife.org
 
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