Buckling Down on Buckling Up: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford Supports Child Passenger Safety with Latest Program Addition

New PSA, Timed To Child Passenger Safety Week, Takes Humorous Look at Why Three in Four Car Seats Are Installed Incorrectly

Palo Alto, Calif. – According to statewide traffic records, in 2011 nearly 130 children in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties under the age of 5 were injured in auto accidents, and many Bay Area families may be unaware that the seats they think are protecting their children are in fact installed improperly. The startling truth is that 75 percent of car safety seats are installed incorrectly.  

The good news is that community-based programs can make a difference. With Child Passenger Safety Week upon us, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford today announced it will offer Buckle Up for Life, a national education program created in 2004 by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota, as the latest addition to its comprehensive child safety initiative.  Since 2004, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has provided car seat fittings for more than 22,000 families, and the Buckle Up for Life program will help the hospital reach even more members of the community.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has a long history of providing injury prevention services to our families,” said Sherri Sager, chief government and community relations officer at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. “We are excited to be able to expand our passenger safety initiative with Toyota’s Buckle Up for Life program, providing car safety education for all family members, paired with hands-on car seat installation training. We are committed to child safety in the Bay Area and beyond and are grateful for this opportunity to protect more children, especially those in underserved communities.”

In California, more than 96 percent of residents are seat belt compliant. Yet even those with the best seatbelt safety practices may have an improperly installed child safety seat in their vehicle. From proper strap adjustment to forward versus backward-facing seats, the tips provided by safety specialists at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital will help families protect children traveling in vehicles.

“I’m exceedingly proud of the work and leadership of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford on educating families about the importance of correctly installing car seats,” said Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who represents a large portion of Silicon Valley. “This grant from Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will allow the hospital to expand the services they currently provide to reach even more families and teach them the proper way to install car seats which save lives.”

Over the last ten years, the Buckle Up for Life program has grown to include a network of more than a dozen of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals and has educated more than 17,000 people about the proper use of car seats and seat belts. Toyota’s funding has also provided more than 40,000 car seats for families in need. 

To further raise awareness of the importance of child passenger safety, Buckle Up for Life released a television Public Service Advertisement (PSA) today that takes a humorous and empathetic look at how frustrating installing a car seat can be. Additionally, Buckle Up for Life unveiled new radio PSAs and web banners to educate families. Many of the materials are available in Spanish, and will air in time that is entirely donated by the media.

“While our new PSA takes a decidedly humorous look at installing a car seat, I think many parents would say we aren’t too far off from reality,” said Latondra Newton, chief corporate social responsibility officer, Toyota North America.  “I don’t know anyone who has not struggled with a car seat or watched a friend or family member do the same. But the truth is that a properly installed car seat can mean the difference between life and death in a crash.  That’s why Toyota is so committed to our work with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford on Buckle Up for Life.”

Buckle Up for Life Convenes Panel of Child Passenger Safety Experts for Google+ Hangout

As part of its mission to educate and empower parents and caregivers nationwide, Buckle Up for Life will host a live Google+ Hangout today at 12:00 pm, ET to discuss child passenger safety. Moderated by Stephanie Ruhle, this social event features a range of child safety experts, including Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), founder and Co-Chair of the Kids’ Safety Caucus, the first bipartisan coalition in the House that promotes child-safety issues.  You may tune-in to the live panel discussion through Google+ today:

Other experts featured in the Google+ Hangout include:

  • Dr. Rebeccah L. Brown, Pediatric Surgeon, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; 
  • Jennifer Pelky, Vehicle Safety Engineer at Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America and Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.

The Google+ Hangout is part of Buckle Up for Life’s strategy to offer digital resources that provide parents with easy and accessible safety tips. features tools, videos and other content in English and Spanish and is optimized for mobile so you can access information on the go on your smart phone or tablet.

Buckle Up for Life expands to three new cities each year.  In addition to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the program also will launch in Boston with Boston Children’s Hospital and Greenville, North Carolina with Maynard Children’s Hospital at Vidant Medical Center.

About Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is the heart of Stanford Children’s Health, and is one of the nation’s top hospitals for the care of children and expectant mothers. For a decade, we have received the highest specialty rankings of any Northern California children’s hospital, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals survey, and are the only hospital in Northern California to receive the national 2013 Leapfrog Group Top Children’s Hospital award for quality and patient care safety. Discover more at

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 2014 Best Children’s Hospitals. It is also ranked in the top 10 for all 10 pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s, a non-profit organization, is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and a research and teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College Of Medicine. 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 Connect on the Cincinnati Children’s blog, via Facebook and on Twitter.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit