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South Valley Journal

Hold On To Dear Life Celebrates 25 Years

Nov 06, 2015 11:49AM ● By Aimee L Cook

By Aimee L. Cook

 South Valley - Since its inception in 1990, the Hold On To Dear Life campaign created by Primary Children’s Hospital has changed the way we buckle up our children. From the catchy jingle playing in your head to the countless advertisements you have seen on television, the child injury prevention program has contributed to saving thousands of lives. 

“Each birthday and each life is precious,” Janet Brooks, child advocacy manager at Primary Children’s, said in a press release. “As we celebrate how the Hold On To Dear Life® campaign has dramatically affected so many children and families, we express appreciation for the support of each company, organization and individual family that have helped us make a difference in keeping kids safe.” 

Kathy Chambers, a retired health educator, shared her story of a car crash in 1997 at the celebratory event held on Sept. 28. Chambers shared how her life was saved because she was strapped in a seat belt; sadly the 18-year-old man driving the other car who died was not wearing a seat belt and was killed after being ejected during the crash. 

“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about that young man—what he could have become, the family he might have had, the life that he won’t have,”  Chambers said. “Many people say wearing a seatbelt is a personal choice. They don’t realize that not wearing one could affect not only your life in an accident, but the other driver or your family.”

In 1990 less than 25 percent of all vehicle passengers were secured in car seats or wore seat belts.  Today,  seat belt use in Utah is 87.2 percent. Due to the efforts of other safety organizations and the Hold On To Dear Life initiative, state laws are now in place requiring children to be secured with seat restraints while in vehicles. 

In addition to creating awareness about seat restraints, the program has expanded to child abuse prevention, car seat safety, gun safety and drowning prevention, ATV safety, Spot the Tot back over prevention, pedestrian safety, window fall prevention and never leave a child alone in a car. 

“Success has been demonstrated time and again as a parent has notified us of a ‘save’ of their child’s life because of the help they received putting their car seat in, or because they were taught to walk around the vehicle before backing out,” Brooks said.