Safety Lab to Help Underserved Community Members Across Austin “Learn Where They Live”
Austin, Texas (November 20, 2019) – It’s no secret that installing a car seat isn’t always the easiest task to master. In fact, three out of four car seats in the U.S. are not installed properly. We know, however, that education and resources can make a positive impact in helping more families get it right. One of the challenges is connecting parents and caregivers with customized opportunities to learn about child passenger safety. The good news is that starting today community members in Austin, Texas and the surrounding areas will have education come to them.
That’s because Austin is home to the first Buckle Up for Life Safety Lab, a new mobile interactive experience designed to educate families on child passenger safety. The program is funded through a grant to Austin-Travis EMS County (ATCEMS) from Buckle Up for Life, a national car seat safety program from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and Toyota.
“At Austin-Travis County EMS, we are always looking for innovative ways to reach community members, especially those in underserved communities who may not have the flexibility to attend classes outside of their neighborhoods,” said Randy Chhabra, Captain of Austin Travis County EMS. “One of the exciting things about the mobile Safety Lab is that it allows us to meet families where they are and deliver critical education and resources to help children stay safe in cars.”
The Lab will travel to neighborhoods across Austin and the surrounding counties, offering critical safety education and resources from multi-lingual certified child passenger experts and emergency medical professionals, including:
Video-based training, hands-on practice and one-on-one instruction;
Education on Texas’ child passenger safety laws;
Car seat checks to help families ensure their seats are installed correctly; and
Free car seats to families in need.
“We know that a properly installed car seat can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a crash,” said Corazon Eaton, CCHMC Program Manager. “That’s why initiatives like the Buckle Up for Life Safety Lab are so important. We want every family to be empowered with the education and resources they need to help keep their children safe.”
The mobile Safety Lab will reach families across nine counties in Central Texas, home to nearly 2 million people.
“Toyota launched Buckle Up for Life in 2004 with Cincinnati Children’s with a belief that community-based education could have a powerful effect on improving children’s safety. Since then, we’ve impacted more than 100,000 people nationwide, provided funding for more than 60,000 car seats to families in need and developed local partnerships in almost 200 cities,” said Al Smith, Group Vice President, Chief Social Innovation Officer. “The mobile safety lab can expand Austin-Travis County EMS reach and capacity to serve more people in need, helping to educate people throughout the region.”
Buckle Up for Life is a national car seat safety program for families, created by Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2004, to help keep child passengers safe. The program partners with leading children’s hospitals, community organizations, local governments, schools and non-profit organizations to teach parents and children about the proper use of car seats and seat belts and to provide free car seats to families in need. Buckle Up for Life has reached more than 100,000 people nationwide and given out more than 60,000 car seats to families in need. It has developed partnerships in over 150 cities including Dallas, Cincinnati, Memphis, Phoenix, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York – and expands to new partners each year. For more information about Buckle Up for Life, please visit www.buckleupforlife.org.
About Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S.News & World Report's Best Children's Hospitals. Cincinnati Children's, a non-profit organization, ranks second nationally in number of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The medical center 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 www.cincinnatichildrens.org. Connect on the Cincinnati Children's blog , via Facebook and on Twitter.
About Austin Travis County EMS
The City of Austin Emergency Medical Services Department is a 3rd service public safety/civil service agency providing 911 emergency response to the citizens of Austin and Travis County. Our Community Relations & Injury Prevention section provides a variety of free programs and services including child car seat inspections, education and outreach through our Child Passenger Safety (CPS) program.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), creator of the Prius hybrid and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve built more than 38 million cars and trucks in North America, where we have 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama (10 in the U.S.), and directly employ more than 47,000 people (over 36,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold 2.8 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2018.