C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan Launches Buckle Up for Life to Help Keep Child Passengers Safe

National Education Program from Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s
Hospital Medical Center Shows Measurable Results

ANN ARBOR, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–What if there was a way to prevent a leading cause of childhood death,
but three out of four of us were doing it wrong? The startling truth is
that 75 percent of car seats in the U.S. are installed incorrectly.1
In Michigan, more than half of children under four who were killed in
crashes from 2008-2012 were either not in a car seat or improperly

Today, C.S.
Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan
announced the
launch of Buckle
Up for Life
, the national injury prevention program from Toyota
and Cincinnati
Children’s Hospital Medical Center
. During the six-week program,
trained specialists will work closely with families in the Ann Arbor
area to educate them about all aspects of child passenger safety.
Families in need will receive free car seats and will be matched with
certified child passenger safety technicians to learn how to install
them properly. The program will be offered in English and Spanish.

“Car seats save lives. We see proof of this in our emergency rooms every
day,” says Mott Injury Prevention Program Lead, Marie Snodgrass.
“Parents are often surprised and overwhelmed by not only how expensive
car seats can be, but also the challenges of using them correctly. Mott
is offering Buckle Up for Life to help parents properly use car
seats and booster seats to protect their children, and to educate
parents on when to appropriately transition children to the next stage.”

Snodgrass continues, “We are incredibly grateful for the generous
support from Buckle Up for Life that will allow us to expand our
program so we can reach more families and keep even more child
passengers as safe as possible on the roads.”

“We know from our work with thousands of families across the country
over more than a decade that installing car seats can be a frustrating
experience, but we also know that getting it right saves children’s
lives,” said Gloria Del Castillo, child passenger safety expert at
Cincinnati Children’s and senior outreach specialist for Buckle Up
for Life
. “That’s why we are so excited to partner with C.S. Mott
Children’s to bring Buckle Up for Life’s critical safety
information to parents and caregivers in the Ann Arbor community.”

Buckle Up for Life’s approach works. In one city alone, the
program nearly tripled the use of proper car seats in participating
families. On average, community organizations that have offered the
program have observed a marked improvement in participants’ auto safety
behaviors, including:

  • The rate of children unrestrained in cars decreased from one in four
    to fewer than one in 20;
  • The rate of children in car seats increased from roughly one in four
    to one in two; and
  • A 13 percent increase in use of seat belts for adults, from 68 percent
    to 81 percent.

“Toyota has always been deeply focused on helping families get places
more safely,” said Jennifer Pelky, Vehicle Safety Engineer at Toyota
Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America and Certified Child
Passenger Safety Technician. “Together with our partners at C.S. Mott
Children’s and Cincinnati Children’s, we look forward to offering Buckle
Up for Life
to help families better protect children here in
Ann Arbor.”

About Buckle Up for Life

Buckle Up for Life is a national injury prevention program for
families, created by Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical
Center in 2004, to help keep child passengers safe. The program teaches
parents and children about the proper use of car seats and seat belts
and provides free car seats to families in need. Through partnerships
with the leading pediatric hospitals in the country, Buckle Up for
has reached more than 23,000 people in 14 cities, including New
York, Memphis, Phoenix, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas, Los
Angeles, Philadelphia, Orange County, and San Antonio – and expands to
new cities each year. In one city alone, the program nearly tripled the
use of proper car seats in participating families. Toyota has provided
funding for over 40,000 car seats for families in need.

About C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital

University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently
ranked one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally
ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in U.S. News Media Group’s
“America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” and among the 10 best children’s
hospitals in the nation by Parents Magazine. In December 2011, the
hospital opened our new 12-story, state-of-the-art facility offering
cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.

1 Durbin, D. R. (2011). Technical
report—Child passenger safety
. Pediatrics, 127(4). Advance online
publication. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0215; NHTSA January 2004 report
“Misuse of Child Restraints”

2 State of Michigan’s Office of Highway Safety Planning,
Final Report for the 2013 Direct Observation Survey of Child
Restraint/Booster Seat Use


for Buckle Up For Life
Amy Schultz, 646-805-2825
of Michigan
Beata Mostafavi, 734-764-2220