Volvo Trucks North America increases support of child safety initiatives

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In an effort to improve child safety in Guilford County, N.C., Volvo Trucks North America has expanded its existing child safety car seat program to include bicycle safety. This year, Volvo is adding a donation for the purchase of bicycle helmets and bicycle reflector packages to its second-year donation of 750 car seats for children from low-income families in Guilford County.

Volvo has now donated more than 1,700 child car seats over the past two years. The donations are being distributed through established programs administered by five local nonprofit organizations and three government organizations. The organizations involved include SAFE Guilford, Buckled With Love Inc., Junior Luv Buckles, Volvo Ready-to-Ride, Guilford Child Development, the Greensboro Police Department, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department and the Guilford County Department of Public Health.

“Safety is a core value for Volvo, and our aim is to improve the welfare of children from low-income families in Guilford County by working with local government agencies and charitable groups,” says Peter Karlsten, president and chief executive officer of Volvo Trucks North America. “Our goal is to make sure that every child in Guilford County is safely protected when traveling our streets and highways.”

According to a 2003 study on youth risk behavior conducted by the Guilford Health Partnership, 71 percent of area high school students and 51 percent of middle school students never wear helmets when riding a bicycle. Yet head injury is the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes and the most important factor in permanent disability of cyclists. One simple action — wearing a helmet — can reduce the risk of head injury by 85 percent.

Interested families who think they may quality for child safety seats or for bicycle helmets should call SAFE Guilford at 336-832-3939 for more information. Information in Spanish is available at 336-832-3938.