BURRILLVILLE – It’s Valentine’s Day week and this week’s Sunday feature reminds everyone about the importance of buckling up for the ones who love you.
I started my the Cross Your Heart Month Buckleupallofus campaign a few years ago. I was reaching out to kids and families during the month of February hoping to influence them to use car seats, booster seats and seatbelts when it involved transportation of children in family vehicles. A number of years ago, February was recognized as National Child Passenger Safety Month. But February was not very conducive to hosting outdoor car seat check ups due to the poor weather conditions.
The federal government opted to change this focus month to September when the weather is more accommodating for these life saving car seat check up events nationwide. I’m glad they did. I spent many February months hosting these car seat check ups with police departments and state police across the state of Rhode Island at area hospitals and family clinics as well as community plazas and malls. September is a much better month.
February then became a month with a void campaign effort for children and safety, so I founded the Cross Your Heart Month campaign and tied the messaging in with Valentine’s Day as part of the child passenger safety and family vehicle safety outreach effort. The campaign slogan; “Cross Your Heart With Your Seatbelt…Somebody Loves You!” fits perfectly with this month and the holiday, and has gradually grown and expanded across the U.S. with police departments, child safety advocates and organizations who have utilized my materials and handouts.
Buckleupallofus already has an established national reach for child passenger safety. That campaign safety effort continues to expand. Combining Bucky with the Cross Your Heart Month campaign for the kids made perfect sense.
Print out and copy this week’s coloring cartoon for children everywhere and keep your little valentines safer while riding in backseats of your family vehicle.
Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children. He has a long list of police officers and firefighters in his family and has worked with law enforcement and firefighters in a creative public safety capacity for more than two decades.