Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Toyota Expand National Buckle Up for Life Program to Orange County

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Program Addresses Disproportionately Higher Risk Faced by African American and Hispanic Children in Motor Vehicle Crashes
‘Buckle Up for Life’ Is First National Program of Its Kind – Nearly Triples the Number of Children in Seatbelts and Car Seats in Program Pilot

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 18, 2012 – Responding to disproportionate risks that African American and Hispanic children face in motor vehicle-related crashes, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center today announced the expansion of the groundbreaking safety education program Buckle Up for Life to Orange County (Calif.). 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 Orange County, joining seven other Buckle Up for Life locations nationwide. 
Research analyzed by medical experts at Cincinnati Children’s – a national leader in pediatric and adolescent medicine – shows 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.
Key Facts
·        Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. between the ages of 1 and 12.[i]
·        Three out of every four car seats are not used or installed correctly[ii] and almost 50 percent of fatally injured children were unrestrained at the time of a crash.[iii]
·        African American and Hispanic children are as much as ten times more likely than Caucasian children to be unrestrained while traveling in a car. [iv]
·        In crashes involving fatalities in children under 14, seat belt use is lower among African Americans than among all other race or ethnic groups.[v]
·        Hispanic children are significantly less likely to be buckled up than non-Hispanic children across all age groups.[vi]
In one pilot city, Buckle Up for Life nearly tripled the number of children properly restrained in seat belts and car seats among the families who participated.[vii]  The program was founded and is jointly led by Cincinnati Children’s and Toyota, in coordination with local hospital partners, such as Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Toyota and local hospital partners are doubling the reach of Buckle Up for Life
The expansion of Buckle Up for Life to Orange County is part of an effort by Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s to double the program’s reach.  The Orange County program joins other new programs in Las Vegas, Nev.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Houston, Texas.  Buckle Up for Life programs are already in place with local hospital partners in Chicago; Cincinnati, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas.  The program has also been deployed successfully in Los Angeles.
Working in close coordination with local churches, Buckle Up for Life meets people in their own community.  The program’s experts work closely with local clergy to reach parents, caregivers and children with critical, interactive and culturally sensitive safety information and expanded access to car seats.
Among the Orange County churches participating in the expansion of Buckle Up for Life are:

African American Churches:
Christ Our Redeemer African Methodist
46 Maxwell Street
Irvine, Calif.  92618
Greater Light Missionary Baptist Church
1600 W. 3rd Street
Santa Ana, Calif.  92703
Second Baptist Church
4300 Westminster Avenue
Santa Ana, Calif.  92703
Hispanic Churches:
West Coast Christian Tabernacle
309 N. Main Street
Santa Ana, Calif.  92701
Our Lady of the Pillar
1622 W. 6th Street
Santa Ana, Calif.  92703

“At Toyota, we are strongly committed to the belief that everyone deserves to be safe,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president of National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation at Toyota Motor North America.  “Through our educational outreach, Collaborative Safety Research Center and numerous partnerships with leading hospitals, nonprofits and research universities nationwide, Toyota is engaged extensively in programs that help ensure that drivers and passengers are safe at every stage of life.  Buckle Up for Life is a vital commitment for Toyota, and we are proud to be working with the visionary medical staff at Cincinnati Children’s, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and with local hospital partners across the country to expand its reach.”
“The Buckle Up for Life program is a safety program that helps save lives and reduce the number of injuries and deaths of children while riding in cars.” says Jeffrey S. Upperman, MD, director, Trauma Program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  “The Children's Hospital Los Angeles Injury Prevention Program is committed to safety and intervention throughout Southern California and beyond. By extending this program to Orange County, we can offer key safety intervention to a greater audience and keep more children safe."
Toyota’s support for Buckle Up for Life is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help make local communities safer and stronger.  The company has contributed more than 600 million dollars to nonprofits throughout the United States over the past 20 years. 

#  #  #

[iv]Child Passenger Safety Practices in the U.S.: Disparities in Light of Updated Recommendations. Macy and Freed.  American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Volume 43, Issue 3. September 2012.
[v]NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts (2008 Data) — Research Note
[vi]NHTSA 2009 National Surveyof the Use of Booster Seats, Sept. 2010
[vii]Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Buckle Up for Life Results


About Buckle Up for Life
Buckle Up for Life, is a national, community-based injury prevention initiative supporting the African American and Hispanic communities.  Working with local hospitals and churches, Buckle Up for Life addresses the economic, cultural and, where appropriate, language barriers to motor vehicle safety. 
Over a six-week period, the program’s medical experts and trained specialists work closely with participants of all ages to deliver vital safety information in an engaging, culturally sensitive and memorable way.   Participants are eligible to receive free car seats, and they are matched with certified child passenger safety technicians to help install these car seats and ensure that children are properly restrained.
Buckle Up for Life, which began in 2004, was developed jointly by trauma specialists at Cincinnati Children’s and vehicle safety experts at Toyota.  National expansion of the program has been sponsored by Toyota.  Additional information is available at
About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and among the top five in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children’s Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.
For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, or visit our blog:  
About Cincinnati Children’sHospital Medical Center
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report's 2012 Best Children's Hospitals ranking.  It is ranked #1 for neonatology and in the top 10 for all pediatric specialties, ranking in the top 5 in 9 out of 10 specialties ranked. Cincinnati Children's is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at
About Toyota
Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants and has a network of nearly 1,500 dealerships.  Toyota directly employs over 30,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results.  Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety.  Since 1991, Toyota has contributed over half-a-billion dollars to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit or

Luis Rosero (Toyota)                                      Janet Dotson (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles)
202-607-9027                                                323-636-9306
[email protected]                        [email protected]


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