By Karen Sheehan, MD
Nothing gives me greater pleasure than reading a new scientific study and seeing that one of my three vices (chocolate, wine and coffee) actually improve health! Of course, the study always comes with the caveat of, “in moderation.”
The truth is, for most things we eat or drink or do, the healthiest choice is usually moderation. However, there are some behaviors we need to do all of the time to be healthy, such as wearing a seatbelt. Kids learn from watching adults, and it is a more powerful message when we model good behaviors for our kids.
While the numbers vary, depending on where you live and whether you are a man or a woman, it’s estimated that about 15 – 20% of adults don’t regularly wear a seatbelt. This is bad news for children, because children are more likely to be unrestrained if the adult driver is unrestrained, leading to increased risk of fatal injury if they are in a crash.
The good news is that proper restraint use reduces occupant death in car crashes by about 50 – 70%. This is incredible! There are other few medical interventions that have such a major impact — not even moderate ingestions of chocolate, wine or coffee.
So commit to health — yours and your child’s. In 2004, Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s created Buckle Up for Life, a community-based program that educates the entire family on passenger safety and distributes car seats to families in need. A few years ago, they expanded their program nationwide, and Lurie Children’s has been a partner site for the past two years.
We are very happy to help promote the first ever National Buckle Up for Life Day. This Tuesday, September 17, stop by the second-floor lobby at Lurie Children’s and sign the pledge to Buckle Up for Life. You can also sign the pledge on the Buckle Up for Life website. The website is a great resource for helping you choose, and teaching you how to install, the right car seat for your child.