Buckle Up for Life Announces Top Tips for Car Seat Safety and Expands to 11 New Markets

National Education Program from Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Also
Launches “Gift of Safety” Program to Distribute 5,000 Car Seats to
Families in Need

PLANO, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Whether you’re a first-time parent, doting grandparent or seasoned baby
sitter, car seats are not always the easiest things to figure out. In
fact, 75 percent of seats in the U.S. are not used correctly.1
That’s why Buckle Up for Life, the national car seat education
program from Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s, is sharing its top safety
tips, just in time for Child Passenger Safety Week (September 18-24).
The program is also announcing an expansion to 11 new markets to help
keep even more children safe.

“An alarming three out of four car seats are not installed properly. We
can and must do better for our children,” said Gloria Del Castillo,
child passenger safety expert at Cincinnati Children’s and specialist of
community engagement for Buckle Up for Life. “We know that proper
use of car seats and booster seats can help prevent many child injuries
and deaths. That’s why Buckle Up for Life teaches parents,
caregivers and children about the proper use of car seats and provides
free seats to families in need.”

Buckle Up for Life’s Top Tips for Car Seat Safety To
Help You Do-It-Yourself – and Do It Right

1. Vintage isn’t always a good look: purchase your own new car

When it comes to car seats, safety experts agree that it’s best to
purchase a new seat. This lets you know the seat’s full history. For
example, if it has been through a crash, its ability to protect your
child may be compromised. Additionally, the plastic can degrade over
time. If you do have a used car seat, check its expiration date, which
can usually be found on a sticker affixed to the seat.

2. Measure twice: check for fit and wrinkles in car seat

After you’ve buckled your child in, pinch the car seat strap near their
shoulders. If you can pinch a wrinkle in the fabric, tighten the strap
until it is snug. Then grab the car seat at the bottom where it is
attached to the car and tug from side to side and front to back. If the
seat moves more than an inch in either direction, tighten it.

3. Focus on inner beauty: all car seats sold in the U.S. meet
the same federal safety standards.

Some seats may be more expensive than others based on fabric, padding or
other bells and whistles, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are any
safer. All car seats sold in the U.S. must meet the same federal child
restraint safety standards.

4. Give them a boost: children shorter than 4’9” need booster

Little ones can be eager to sit like big kids. However, seat belts often
don’t fit young children properly and can ride up around their waists or
necks, potentially causing injury during a crash. Children under 4’9”
should sit in booster seats, which elevate them so that seat belts can
fit properly.

5. Call in the experts: there are many resources to help you
get it right.

Don’t hesitate to check out expert resources for additional tips and
advice, such as the car seat installation videos found on
BuckleUpForLife.org. The site also offers links to car seat inspection
stations or child passenger safety technicians in your community.

Buckle Up for Life Expands to 11 New Markets and
Launches the “Gift of Safety” Program

This fall, Buckle Up for Life will expand to trusted partners in
11 new cities:

  • American Family Children’s Hospital, Madison, WI
  • Cardon Children’s Medical Center, Mesa, AZ
  • City of Rocky Mount Fire Department, Rocky Mount, NC
  • Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Sacramento, CA
  • Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, Portland, OR
  • Safe Kids Grand Forks – Altru Health System, Grand Forks, ND
  • Safe Kids Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford, CT
  • Trustees of Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
  • University Health System San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
  • Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, Detroit, MI

Also this fall, Buckle Up for Life will launch the “Gift of
Safety” program, which will provide an additional 50 non-profit
organizations across the country with 100 car seats each for families in
their communities. Each parent or caregiver who receives a seat will
also receive safety education and assistance from a certified child
passenger safety technician.

“Cincinnati Children’s has been a fantastic partner for more than a
dozen years now. Together, we’ve made a real difference in improving
child passenger safety across the country – one family at a time,” said
Mike Goss, General Manager, Social Innovation, Toyota Motor North
America. “We look forward to helping even more children get places
safely with Buckle Up for Life.”

Since 2004, Buckle Up for Life has reached thousands of people
with critical passenger safety information. Organizations that offered
the program observed a marked improvement in members’ auto safety
behaviors, including:

  • The average rate of children unrestrained in cars (i.e., not in a car
    seat or booster seat or fastened in a seat belt) decreased from one in
    four to fewer than one in 20;
  • The average rate of children in car seats increased from roughly one
    in four to one in two; and
  • The use of seat belts by adults increased by an average of 13 percent,
    from 68 percent to 81 percent.

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 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 45,000 people nationwide and has partnerships in 17 cities
including New York, Dallas, Memphis, Phoenix, Chicago, Cincinnati,
Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Orange County, and San
Antonio – and expands to new partners 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.
For more information about Buckle Up for
Life, please visit www.buckleupforlife.org.

About Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit, pediatric, academic medical
center established in 1883, is internationally recognized for improving
child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated,
globally recognized research, education and innovation. It is one of the
top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National
Institutes of Health, ranked third in the nation among all Honor Roll
hospitals in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals, and
a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati’s
College of Medicine. Its patient population includes the eight-county
primary service area covering parts of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. A
destination for children with complex medical conditions, it also served
patients from all 50 states and nearly 70 countries during the past
year. Additional information can be found at

Connect on the Cincinnati
Children’s blog
, via Facebook and

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius
and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to advancing mobility
through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 50 years,
we’ve produced more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America,
where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly
employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800
North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.8
million cars and trucks (nearly 2.5 million in the U.S.) in 2015 – and
about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are
still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental
organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility
challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support
non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more
places. For more information about Toyota, visit

1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/LATCH


For Buckle Up for Life
Amy Gross, 646-805-2037