As a former school teacher, I believe education is of the utmost importance: especially safety education. Teaching children at an early age to wear bicycle helmets, look both ways when crossing the street, and buckle up in the car leads to a lifetime of good traffic safety habits. That’s why I am so excited to announce our partnership with Chuggington, an educational children’s show on the Disney Channel.
The sad fact is that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, crashes are the leading cause of death in children ages 3 to 14. But these deaths are preventable. We know from another NHTSA study that child safety seats, when used properly, decrease the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.
Our new partnership with the animated trains of Chuggington, just in time for Child Passenger Safety Week, will help us share the facts about proper installation of the right sized safety seat with parents and caregivers.
Dick Rothkopf and the other Chuggington creators at Ludorum also believe in the importance of teaching young children and their parents to be safe inside and outside vehicles. The new Chuggington public service announcement is a perfect demonstration of that. They also have a terrific safety website with games, tips, and other activities for kids. And they have agreed to provide information about helmets, bike safety, seat belts, and safety seats in upcoming episodes of their show.
We know that many young Chuggington viewers will want to emulate the valuable safety lessons practiced by their favorite characters.
Today, as part of Child Passenger Safety week, Dick and I spent time with the lively youngsters at Harriet Tubman Elementary School here in Washington, DC. The young students, however, were much more interested in our Chuggington friends, Wilson, Brewster, and Koko.
After, a certified technician demonstrated to parents and caregivers the correct way to buckle kids into appropriate child restraints.
Similar safety seat demonstrations will be held all over the country on September 24th for “Seat Check Saturday,”. At many sites these consultations will be available in both English and Spanish. You can find a location near you at www.nhtsa.gov.
At the end of the day's events, the Tubman Elementary School kids took a pledge to “Think Safe, Ride Safe, and Be Safe,” and they were awarded with badges just like those earned by their favorite Chuggington characters. Kids everywhere can take the same pledge on the Chuggington safety website.
I've said many times that pursuing our number one priority, safety, requires strong partners. So we are thrilled to have more “spokes-characters” to join Lightning and 'Mater from Disney's Cars 2, the fairy godmother from Disney’s Cinderella, and others in promoting child safety.