Ford Expands Child Safety Outreach into Latino Communities
Seat belts and child passenger safety seats are very effective tools to protect children in cars and trucks, but only if they are used correctly.
Traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for Latino children, and most are due to improper use of child passenger restraint systems – if they are used at all.
In 2003, Ford Motor Company Fund and the National Latino Children's Institute (NLCI) joined forces with a nationwide network of safety advocates and community groups to raise awareness of the important role safety seats and seat belts play in saving lives.
The program - Corazón de mi vida – is still going strong and has taken the message of child safety to 15 states from California and Arizona to Texas and Florida. Most recently, 20 Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians graduated in Puerto Rico where 80% of child safety seats are used improperly.
“Corazón de mi vida builds on parents’ love for their children and provides them with the information they need to keep their children safe,” said Josie Garza, executive director, NLCI. “Ford Motor Company Fund’s involvement has helped us reach more communities, offer training for bilingual certified technicians and partner with safety advocates to help spread the word with families.”
CPS technicians are police officers, firefighters or community organizers trained to educate parents on using safety seats correctly.
The first ladies of Puerto Rico and San Juan were on hand for a ceremony and safety demonstrations in June 2010 to underscore the importance of this life-saving effort.