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Toyota Team Athlete Alana Nichols Shares Passion for Child Passenger Safety in Collaboration with Buckle Up for Life

 

Three-time Paralympic gold medalist Alana Nichols is teaming up with Buckle Up for Life, a national child passenger safety program created by Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, to promote the importance of child passenger safety in vehicles.

In a public statement released during National Passenger Safety Week (January 22-28), Nichols discusses that the safety of child passengers has always been a priority for her, but when she became a mom, she took on an even greater, very personal meaning.

“It is a huge privilege for me as a Paralympic athlete to have a public podium from which I can perform,” said Nichols. “And now, as a mother, one of my strongest passions is to help parents and guardians fully understand the importance of the safety of child passengers.”

Nichols shares his personal story in a public service announcement that was shot at Nichols’ home. It includes scenes where she plays with her 3-year-old son, Gunnar, and the two of them drive around their Reno, Nevada neighborhood in their Toyota Sienna.

She says the catalyst for the video was her realization that only one out of four car seats was installed correctly.

“I was shocked when I heard these statistics,” she said. “But maybe I shouldn’t have done this because I’m the first to admit that installing a car seat can be tricky. So it’s important for people to know that there’s a Buckle Up for Life program that can help ensure that the car seat fits properly.”

Through social events and online resources, Buckle Up for Life provides parents and guardians with up-to-date information to help them find the right seats for their children, as well as learn how to properly install and use those seats. They also provide personal assistance through their local partner agencies.

“Alana’s passion for child passenger safety and her partnership with Buckle Up for Life will help raise awareness to help save lives,” said Gloria Del Castillo, Child Passenger Safety Expert at Cincinnati Children’s and Senior Community Engagement Specialist. at Buckle Up for Life. “As an athlete, mom, and member of Team Toyota, her message resonates with parents and caregivers across the country.”

“Buckle Up for Life is committed to providing families with the resources and education they need to keep their children safe on the road,” said Keith Jones, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Mobility, Toyota Motor North America. “Alana’s support and her heartfelt video message will reach thousands of families. And at Toyota, we will share her message with team members, customers and other Toyota partners across the country.”

An avid snowboarder throughout her youth, in 2000, at the age of 17, Nichols injured her back while attempting a snowboarding backflip. The injury left her paralyzed from the waist down but quickly transitioned to adaptive sports. She is a five-time Paralympic champion and six-time medalist. Nichols is the first U.S. Olympic champion to win gold medals in both the summer (wheelchair basketball) and winter (alpine skiing) Paralympics.

VIDEO: Toyota Team Athlete Alana Nichols Talks Buckle Car Seat Safety for Life | Toyota

Oh buckle up for life

Buckle Up for Life is a national injury prevention program for families created by Toyota and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2004 to help keep child passengers safe. The program partners with leading children’s hospitals, community organizations, local governments, schools, and non-profit organizations to educate parents and children on the proper use of car seats and seat belts, and provide free car seats to families in need. Buckle Up for Life has reached over 180,000 people in partnership with over 600 community organizations in nearly 250 cities across the country, and has new partners every year. In one city alone, the program nearly tripled the correct use of car seats among participating families. Toyota has funded over 90,000 child seats for families in need. For more information about the Buckle Up for Life program, visit www.buckleupforlife.org.

About Cincinnati Kindergarten

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is ranked #3 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals 2022-2023 list. Founded in 1883, Cincinnati Children’s nonprofit academic medical center is internationally recognized for improving children’s health and transforming healthcare delivery through research, education and innovation. www.cincinnatichildrens.org

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of US culture for over 65 years and is committed to promoting next-generation sustainable mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands and approximately 1,500 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs over 39,000 people in the US who have been involved in the design, engineering and assembly of over 33 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing sites. By 2025, Toyota’s 10th plant in North Carolina will begin producing car batteries for electric vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, Toyota currently offers 20 electrified options, more than any other automaker, with more coming to showrooms later this year.

To inspire the next generation to pursue careers in STEM fields, including mobility, Toyota has launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with immersive experiences and the opportunity to visit many of our US manufacturing facilities virtually. The center also features a series of free STEM classes and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual tours, and more. For more information about Toyota, visit www.ToyotaNewsroom.com.

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