Corporations Unite to Safeguard Kids
Keeping Kids Safe is Focus of Daylong Event
DUARTE, Calif.

Four out of five child safety seats used in automobiles are improperly installed or used incorrectly. This means that thousands of children continue to be put in danger needlessly. To help correct this, Farmers Insurance and Wal-Mart held a "Child Safety Awareness Day" and press briefing today at Wal-Mart in Duarte, Calif. The event was free and open to the public.

During the event, parents and caregivers received child safety seat demonstrations, home safety guides, child safety reflectors kits, and other information specifically designed to safeguard children. In addition, Farmers offered complimentary photographing and fingerprinting services that are part of the company's child identification kits. In the event of an emergency, parents and caregivers can provide information from these kits to law enforcement and others to quickly assist in identifying their children.

"We want to provide parents and other caregivers with the information they need to protect their children," said Diane Tasaka, communications director for Farmers Insurance. "The most dangerous time for children is during the week following the end of Daylight Saving Time -- right around Halloween -- when darkness falls earlier each day. To ensure that children and caregivers can be seen more clearly in the evening hours, we are offering free safety reflector kits."

A recent survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that more than 800 children under the age of 14 are injured or killed everyday in motor vehicle collisions. In addition, the majority of children fatally injured in motor vehicle crashes were improperly restrained by safety seats or safety belts. These sobering statistics prompted both major sponsors of the "Child Safety Awareness Day" to agree that something needed to be done.

"We all need to remain vigilant about ensuring our children's safety," said Cynthia Lin, senior manager of corporate affairs for Wal-Mart Stores. "That's why we invited the public to join us today to receive important safety information and learn more about what we can do to improve safety for all our loved ones."

Since there are a variety of safety seats and restraints on the market, the need to inform and educate parents and caregivers on how to protect their children is paramount. Community leaders and law enforcement have been active in promoting greater public awareness of the need to use safety seats properly and consistently.

"There is no doubt that proper child safety seat use is a complicated issue," said Stephanie M. Tombrello, executive director of SafetyBeltSafe USA. "However, to keep a child safe in a moving vehicle, caregivers need to choose the right safety seat, install the seat correctly in the right location of the vehicle, strap the child in properly and use the seat without fail."

In addition to Farmers and Wal-Mart, co-sponsors of the Child Safety Awareness Day included Sierra Autocars, McDonald's, SafetyBeltSafe USA and the California Highway Patrol.


SOURCE: Farmers Insurance

CONTACT: Luisa Acosta-Franco of Farmers Insurance, +1-323-646-7514; or
Cynthia Lin of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., +1-650-837-5577



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