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Programs Target Latino Families During Child Passenger Safety Week

 / Updated 
File photo, Los Angeles CANAM Y HUH / AP

Almost half of Hispanic children killed in car crashes in 2011 were not buckled up compared to 26 percent of non-Latino white children, according to figures from the CDC. With the start of Child Passenger Safety Week (September 14 – 20), programs are bolstering outreach to Latinos through radio public service announcements, hospital partnerships and community outreach in churches.

One of these is Buckle Up for Life, started in 2004 by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota and now working in different cities around the country.

“Having worked in a trauma center, I witnessed first hand the devastating impact lack of motor vehicle restraints had in our community," said Dr. Victor Garcia, founding director of trauma services, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Among tips for parents: babies under two should be in a rear-facing car seat, toddlers should be in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and children under 4/9" should be in a booster seat. And up to 75 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly, so parents should ensure their proper use.