Phoenix, Ariz., March 3, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Phoenix Children’s Hospital announced it partnered with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota to bring the Buckle Up for Life program, a national injury prevention program, to Phoenix.

Building on a partnership that began in 2004 between one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals–Cincinnati Children’s–and the global automotive manufacturer–Toyota, the Buckle Up for Life program is designed to educate the entire family on critical car safety behaviors and provides free child car seats to families in need.

Car crashes are the number one killer of children in the United States between the ages 1 and 12.[i] Additionally, almost half of all African American (45%) and Hispanic (46%) children who died in crashes were not buckled up (2009–2010)[ii]. According to the Arizona Child Fatality Review Program, in 2012, 64 children died in Arizona in motor vehicle-related crashes–the number one factor being “lack of vehicle restraint”[iii].

“Proper use of seat belts, child safety seats and booster seats can significantly prevent vehicle-related injuries and fatalities,” said Sally Moffat, Director, Community Outreach and Injury Prevention at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “We want to do more to protect children in vehicles and the Buckle Up for Life program will allow us to reach out to our neighboring communities in Phoenix and work closely with parents, caregivers and children–providing them with vital safety information in a way that leaves lasting impressions and saves lives.”

Toyota’s Multi-million Dollar Commitment Expands Buckle Up for Life

As part of Toyota’s ongoing commitment to provide safety programs to passengers and drivers of all ages, the company announced in September that it increased funding of Buckle Up for Life by six million dollars over the next three years, allowing the program to expand from the current eight cities to a total of 17 cities by 2016. This investment is added to the more than two and a half million dollars of support Toyota has provided over the past nine years. To-date Buckle Up for Life has had tremendous results, including providing more than 40,000 child car seats to families in need. In one city alone, the use of proper child car seats by program participants nearly tripled.

In addition to partnering with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, this year Buckle Up for Life has also partnered with Cohen Children’s Medical Center (New York, NY) and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital (Memphis, TN). They join successful programs already in place with local hospital partners in Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Orange Country, CA, and San Antonio.

“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.”

Buckle Up for Life Website

Beyond the community programs in cities across the U.S., the mobile-friendly, Buckle Up for Life website offers parents and caregivers easy to use tools and videos to help them identify and install the proper car seats for their child.

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