June 30, 2020

National Education Program from Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s helps keep kids safe 

Bye Nielson 2.jpgWhat if there was a way to prevent a leading cause of childhood death, but three out of four of us were doing it wrong? The startling truth is that 75 percent of car seats in the U.S. are not used correctly.[1]

The good news is that Mayville State University Child Development Programs and Buckle Up for Life, the national car seat safety program from Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s, are sharing child passenger safety education with families through a new partnership. The program’s trained specialists will work closely with families and caregivers to educate them about all aspects of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. Families in need will receive free car seats and will be matched with a certified child passenger safety technician to learn how to install them properly.

“Throughout the next year, we will be distributing a total of 76 car seats to families in need in our local communities,” said Michelle Bye, Parent, 

michelle bye.jpg

Family and Community Engagement Manager with Mayville State Child Development programs. “Even if you do not need a car seat, we are able to provide a car seat inspection and ensure that your child is riding as safely as possible.”

Bye wrote for the Buckle Up for Life of Safety Partnership Grant and was awarded 76 car seats, totaling $3,800. Fifty of these grants were awarded nationwide. MSU Child Development Programs was the only North Dakota organization to receive a grant. 

“We know that proper use of car seats and booster seats can mean the difference between life and death in a crash.” said Gloria Del Castillo, child passenger safety expert at Cincinnati Children’s and senior specialist of community engagement for Buckle Up for Life. “That’s why Buckle Up for Life is so committed to our work with MSU CDP to teach parents, caregivers, and children in Traill and Grand Forks Counties about the proper use of car seats and provide free seats to families in need.”

If you are in need of a car seat and would like to schedule a time to work with a certified child passenger safety technician, please call Michelle Bye, at 701-788-4604. Car Seat Check Up events are scheduled for Tuesday, July 14 in Mayville and Thursday, July 16 in Hillsboro. Appointments are required. 

Photo captions

Top: Mayville State Child Development Programs employees Michelle Bye (left) and JoAnna Nielson (right) show one of 76 car seats that have been made available to area families through the Buckle Up for Life program.

Bottom: Michelle Bye , Parent, Family and Community Engagement Manager with Mayville State Child Development Programs, helps to unload a truckload of car seats that arrived at Mayville State on June 30.

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 91,000 people nationwide and has partnerships in 172 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.

[1] Durbin, D. R. (2011). Technical report—Child passenger safety . Pediatrics, 127(4). Advance online publication. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0215;  NHTSA January 2004 report “Misuse of Child Restraints”