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SOURCE Safe Kids Worldwide
Affluent, educated and young parents are worst offenders
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21), Safe Kids Worldwide today released "Buckle Up: Every Ride, Every Time," a new study that finds an alarming percentage of parents are not always taking the time to ensure their children are safely secured in vehicles.
The report, funded as part of a $2 million grant from the General Motors Foundation, is based on a national online survey of 1,002 parents and caregivers of children ages 10 and under. It reveals that one in four parents admit to having driven without their child buckled up in a car seat or booster seat. In fact, more affluent parents, parents with higher levels of education, and young parents are more likely to make exceptions when it comes to buckling up their kids on every ride. Men were also more willing than women to bend the rules.
"The number of children dying in car crashes has declined by 58 percent since 1987 but this research shows that the trend toward buckling up kids on every ride could be heading in the wrong direction," said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. "It only takes one time to be riding in a vehicle without buckling up for a life to be changed forever. During Child Passenger Safety week, we want to remind all parents that it's important to buckle up their kids every time, on every ride."
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death to children. In 2011, 679 children ages 12 and under died in motor vehicle crashes. A third of these children (221) were riding without a child safety seat or seat belt that could have saved their lives. In addition, older children are more often unrestrained in fatal car crashes compared to younger children.
"As kids grow up, it can be easy to forget the importance of taking time to buckle up, especially on a quick or overnight trip," said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs, a GM Foundation board member. "Unfortunately, exceptions can lead to tragedies. The research findings underscore the importance of remaining vigilant about buckling up throughout a child's lifetime. There is no reason important enough to take the risk."
The report also highlights that when parents make exceptions it sends a powerful message to kids that it's not important to buckle up on every ride. As these kids get older, they could be more likely to find exceptions for buckling up as well. Teenagers have the lowest rate of seat belt use of all age groups.
The survey asked parents if it was acceptable for a child to ride unrestrained in a vehicle in certain circumstances, including driving a short distance, if the car or booster seat was missing, during overnight travel, as a reward for the child, or if they chose to hold the child in their lap. The results were staggering.
Buckling Up on Short or Overnight Trips
"Buckle Up: Every Ride, Every Time," provides recommendations for improving laws around child passenger safety, including upgrading weaker booster seat laws to cover children up to the age of eight, and renewing a commitment to enforcing child passenger safety laws.
In addition, parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow three safety strategies consistently:
Child Passenger Safety Week culminates with National Seat Check Saturday on September 21. Safe Kids will host more than 500 child seat inspections across the country, offering guidance from certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians on proper installation of child safety and booster seats. Parents and caregivers can visit safekids.org to locate an event in their community.
About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations dedicated to providing parents and caregivers with practical and proven resources to protect kids from unintentional injuries, the number one cause of death to children in the United States. Throughout the world, almost one million children die of an injury each year, and almost all of these tragedies are preventable. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 600 coalitions in the United States and in 23 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 55 percent. Working together, we can do much more for kids everywhere. Join our effort at safekids.org.
About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.
Video with caption: "To find a certified car seat technician in your area, visit http://www.safekids.org/car-seat-events." Video available at: http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/PRNA/ENR/FX-MM80235-091613-01.mp4
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