In 1997, General Motors Corporation and Safe Kids Worldwide created Safe Kids Buckle Up, one of the largest, most comprehensive private sector child passenger safety programs in the country. GM and more recently the GM Foundation have served as Safe Kids Buckle Up's exclusive funding source and helped build the program into a multifaceted national initiative, bringing motor vehicle safety messages to children and families through community and dealer partnerships.
The program offers parents and caregivers hands-on instruction about safety inside the car (including information on car seats, booster seats and safety belts) as well as around the car (featuring the Spot the Tot program). The program also presents interactive educational programs for children ages 14 and under.
Safe Kids Buckle Up provides educational materials, grants and support to Safe Kids coalitions to conduct safety programs at the local level. These networks of grassroots volunteers include nationally certified child passenger safety technicians, transportation safety experts, public officials, police officers, nurses, public health experts and General Motors dealerships.
Since the program's inception, more than 22 million people have been exposed to Safe Kids Buckle Up events and community outreach efforts. Certified child passenger safety technicians working through Safe Kids coalitions have examined more than 1.4 million child safety seats at nearly 80,000 events and the program has donated more than 520,000 seats to families in need.With support from the GM Foundation, Safe Kids Buckle Up programs are conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide's 600 local coalitions and chapters.
Safe Kids Buckle Up encompasses the “Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car” program that strives to combat hyperthermia-related deaths. It also includes the “Countdown2Drive” pre-teen safe driving initiative designed to equip teens ages 13 and 14, and their parents, with safe passenger and driving knowledge well before they are ready to legally drive. The program’s goal is to help teens learn how to protect themselves in vehicles as they become more independent.
For more information on these programs and more, visit Safe Kids Worldwide at www.safekids.org.