Ad campaign focuses on getting ‘tweens’ buckled up

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A first of its kind campaign starts Thursday, to get kids of a certain age group to buckle up.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is focusing for the first time on an ad campaign for tweens.

Their latest ad campaign slogan is, ‘Never Give Up, Until They Buckle Up.’

Tweens are considered kids ages 8 through 14. It’s typically a transition age: some are still using booster seats, and others are tall enough to use a seat belt and buckle up themselves.

The NHTSA says national statistics show from 2009 to 2013, nearly half of tweens who died traveling in passenger vehicles were not wearing seat belts. Stats show that increases as kids get closer to ages 13 and 14.

Dr. Joseph O’Neil, a neuro-developmental pediatrician and co-medical director of the Automotive Safety Program at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, says even though these children are getting older, adults need to double-check every time to make sure their tweens are buckled up correctly. He points out, according to a report from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute based on Indiana traffic accidents in 2013, an estimated 83 percent of children between 8 and 14 years old wore seat belts, compared to 92 percent of children between 1 and 3 years old and an estimated 94 percent of children less than a year old.

Why is that?

The NHTSA says on their website, it’s for a number of reasons. Perhaps parents aren’t wearing them, or maybe kids are preoccupied or distracted with electronic devices or food. Maybe kids aren’t comfortable if they were moved from a booster seat to a regular seat too soon. Maybe they think “it’s just a short trip” and secretly choose not to put the seat belt on. Maybe it’s nighttime and they feel like parents can’t see what they’re doing.

So what do parents need to remember?

Be a good role model: wear your own seat belt. Never give up until they buckle up, and never assume they’re buckled: double-check even through age 14.

Also – experts say all kids under 13 should sit in the backseat at all times.

The NHTSA has put much more information for parents here, on this new website.

They’re also hosting a Twitter chat Thursday afternoon from 3-4 p.m. Follow along using hashtags #kidsbuckleup and #tweens.

Below, find more information from Dr. O’Neil with Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health on when your child is big enough to use an adult seat belt.

Size issues. The typical 8-year-old isn’t big enough for an adult seat belt. In order to use an adult seat belt, a few conditions need to be met:

  • The child’s legs need to extend beyond the bench part of the seat.
  • The lap/shoulder belt needs to go to the shoulder cap to the hips where the lap belt can lay flat across the hips and stay there for the entire ride. If these conditions cannot be met, the child should be in a booster seat.


Leadership fellows program going statewide

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The Indianapolis-based Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation is taking its Fellows program statewide. The nonprofit says the program aims to “bridge the gap between Indiana’s current leaders and its future leaders, and break down growth barriers with innovative ideas.” 

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, MDLF Executive Director Mike Young said the majority of the program’s participants to date have been from central Indiana.

“Last year, we had three exceptions: one from Salem, one from Lafayette, and one from Evansville,” said Young. “This model has proved really successful and so this year, we’re looking to grow the number of people from outside central Indiana and truly make this a statewide network which aligns with Mitch Daniels’ vision for what we should be. Since when he was governor, he was governor of all 92 counties, we need to represent all 92 counties and get the whole state working together.

The fellowship was created in 2016 with what Young says was the goal of getting more people involved in understanding the type of leadership exemplified by Daniels, both as governor and in the private sector. Participants spend 12 months learning about what is doing on in Indiana, how the state stacks up to its neighbors and the rest of the country, and identifying problems and opportunities in which they could make an impact.

Young says the fellows then develop proposals to address specific problems, which are pitched to the foundation. “The hope is that these proposals will catalyze ideas that the organization can then execute on or that the fellows could go work on individually after they’ve completed this first year of learning about the state.”

Young says it is important for the program to represent all areas of the state and not just central Indiana. He says doing so creates benefits, including bringing a broader array of perspectives and ideas to the table that would create more options for solving problems throughout the state.

“Second of all, the states around us are in many ways our competitors and are actively working to engage different parts of their geography and pull them all together so that they can become stronger and that will manifest itself in potentially them providing a better business climate or making (their states) more attractive to companies or students or new residents. So we need to start thinking about Indiana as a competitor in this regional space with all our Midwestern neighbors and the best way that we can compete with these other states…is to also think statewide ourselves.”

Young says the foundation has already seen much interest of communities throughout Indiana. As part of the statewide expansion, the foundation is looking to move some of its events to other areas of the state to grow the percentage of fellows outside of central Indiana.

The foundation is currently accepting applications for this year’s cohort of the Fellows program through March 15. You can learn more about the program by clicking here.