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  • Buckle Up For Life

    Posted on March 5th, 2014 ninarussin

    Phoenix Children’s Hospital joins Toyota’s child safety initiative

    Toyota NASCAR driver, Denny Hamlin, is a new father himself.

    Toyota NASCAR driver, Denny Hamlin, is a new father himself.

    Car crashes are the number one killer of children between the ages of one and twelve according to US government statistics, and most child fatalities are preventable by the proper use of child safety seats. In 2004, Toyota launched Buckle Up For Life with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in order to encourage parents to use child safety seats and install them properly.

    This week, Phoenix Children’s Hospital announced that it would be joining the effort. As part of the kick-off, Toyota is providing 64 free child safety seats on a first come, first serve basis. The seats represent sixty-four Arizona children who lost their lives over the past year in auto-related accidents.

    Among the groups at highest risk for automotive pediatric fatalities are African Americans and Hispanics. According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control, almost half the children killed in car crashes from both groups were not buckled up.

    Prior to this year, the Buckle Up for Life program included partnerships with hospitals in Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Orange Country, CA, and San Antonio. Toyota has provided 40,000 free child safety seats to families in need.

    In September 2013, Toyota announced an additional six million dollar investment in the program over the next three years, expanding the program to 17 cities including Phoenix.

    Among the presenters at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital announcement was Dr. Dennis Lund, the hospital’s executive vice president and surgeon-in-chief. According to Dr. Lund, increased use of child safety seats has resulted in a 43 percent decrease in pediatric mortalities from car accidents over the past decade.

    But child safety advocates still face a formidable challenge. Each year, doctors at Phoenix Children’s Hospital see 624 pediatric trauma activations due to car accidents.

    “At Toyota, we are strongly committed to the belief that driver and passenger safety is a universal need and something everyone should have access to,’ said Latondra Newton, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer of Toyota Motor North America Inc. ‘That is why we partnered with Cincinnati Children’s to create Buckle Up for Life and have increased our support. We consider today to be both a celebration of all we have achieved and a call to action for the tremendous amount of work still to be done.”

    For additional information on Buckle Up for Life, visit the program web site.

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