Toronto marks the UN's Decade of Action for Road Safety

TORONTO, May 11 /CNW/ - Major landmarks around the world are lighting up to mark the launch of the UN's Decade of Action for Road Safety, an initiative to save 5 million lives and prevent 50 million serious injuries on roads around the world. In Canada, the CN Tower will be lit up on the evening of May 11 to mark the occasion.  The launch also coincides with a Safe Kids Canada/Leger Marketing poll unveiled today on child passenger safety.

According to the poll, most parents of children under the age of 10 feel that a booster seat is necessary until a child is physically able to use a seat belt on its own (78 per cent). Yet only 30 per cent of Canadian children who should be using booster seats are actually doing so, according to Transport Canada, despite their parents' belief in the importance of using one, and despite existing booster seat laws in the majority of Canadian provinces. This translates into a startling 1.8 million Canadian children who are put at risk of severe injury every time they ride in a vehicle because they are using a seat belt too early in their development. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for Canadian children under the age of 14.

"Parents need to know that although seatbelts are an effective safety device, they are designed for adult bodies and not young children," says Pamela Fuselli, Executive Director, Safe Kids Canada, the national injury program of The Hospital for Sick Children. "The solution is simple - if your child has outgrown their forward-facing car seat and is under four feet nine inches tall or 145 centimetres, put them in a booster seat. It could save their life."

Today also marks the launch of the 2011 Safe Kids Week child passenger safety campaign - Give your kid a boost! - which is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Inc., with community grants supported by the Honda Canada Foundation. Across Canada, Safe Kids Canada partners are conducting Give your kid a boost! events from May 30 to June 5, educating families on child passenger safety and asking parents to use booster seats on every ride.

For more information on how to use car seats and booster seats, visit www.safekidscanada.ca

SOURCE Safe Kids Canada

For further information:

Lisa Lipkin
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Safe Kids Canada
Tel: 416-813-6164
Cell: 416-843-1190
lisa.lipkin@sickkids.ca

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Safe Kids Canada

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