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Safe Kids USA Offers Parents Programs to Help Ensure Children’s Safety


Programs Target Parents of Newborns Through Age 14; Focus on How to Keep Kids Safe In And Around the Car

Washington, D.C. – Since 1997, Safe Kids USA has enjoyed a successful partnership with General Motors and the General Motors Foundation in providing the Safe Kids Buckle Up program, a portfolio of targeted safety information for parents of newborns through age 14.

The Safe Kids Buckle Up program, which is the largest, most comprehensive child passenger safety program in the country, offers parents hands-on instruction about safety inside the car (including information on car seats, booster seats, and seat belts) as well as around the car.

With support from the General Motors Foundation, Safe Kids Buckle Up provides educational materials, grants and support to Safe Kids USA’s 600 coalitions to conduct safety programs at the local level throughout the country.

Since the program’s inception, more than 21 million people have been exposed to Safe Kids Buckle Up events and community outreach efforts.
Program highlights include:

Safety In and Around the Car, Newborn to 10-year-olds

About 10 percent of motor vehicle-related deaths of children don’t happen in traffic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They happen when children are struck by cars in parking lots or driveways or when they are left unattended in vehicles.

Three Safe Kids Buckle Up programs, Spot the Tot, Never Leave your Child Alone, and Preventing Trunk Entrapment, teach families that vehicles are not toys and children of any age should never be alone in or around them.

Child Passenger Safety, Newborn to 10-year-olds

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 3 to 14. In fact, research shows that as children age, they are less likely to be in the appropriate child safety seat for their age and weight. Fortunately, correctly used child safety seats are extremely effective and reduce the risk of injury and death as much as 71 percent for infants and 54% for toddlers. Research from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia showed that children ages 4-8 using belt positioning booster seats were 45% less likely to sustain injuries than similar aged kids who used seat belts alone.

Child Passenger Safety, which is the heart of the Buckle Up program, teaches families how to safely transport their children. Certified child passenger safety technicians working through Safe Kids coalitions have inspected more than 1.3 million child safety seats at nearly 66,000 events and educated more than 21 million parents and caregivers.

Safest Generation, ages 11-12

Preteens ages 11 and 12 face some very difficult vehicle safety decisions as they strive to become more independent. The Safest Generation program uses hands-on activities to help them get the right safety belt fit, learn about the newest technology, debunk vehicle safety myths, and learn how to make decisions that could be the difference between life and death in the event of a crash.

Countdown2Drive, ages 13-14

The Countdown2Drive program, the newest component of Safe Kids Buckle Up, is targeted for parents and their teens, ages 13-14, and is aimed at teaching teens to be safe passengers today and good drivers tomorrow. Local Safe Kids coalitions walk families through the steps of discussing key safety issues teens will face when riding as a passenger or as they prepare to drive.

A key component of the Countdown2Drive program is a parent-teen Passenger Agreement. Parents and their teen can use a web tool to establish family rules and guidelines for driving, rewards, and consequences.


About Safe Kids USA
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. More than 600 coalitions and chapters across the U.S. and nineteen member countries across the globe bring together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families. For more information visit the Safe Kids website.

About General Motors Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions to deserving American charities and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. For more information, visit the GM Foundation website.


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