National Child Passenger Safety Board Recognizes 2021 Award Recipients

Three individuals and one team rise up during the pandemic.

April 27, 2021

Itasca, IL – Before the pandemic, a virtual car seat check was not commonplace. Now, the practice is old hat.

Men and women working across the country and around the world to keep children safe during travel were challenged to adapt as in-person activities were canceled and circumstances changed over the last 14 months, including three individuals and the members of a team selected as recipients of the 2021 national Child Passenger Safety awards.

Today, they are recognized by the National Child Passenger Safety Board as safety champions for their efforts during a year when traffic volume declined but traffic fatalities increased at a disproportionate rate:

  • Technician of the Year: Bailey Bakouris, community outreach specialist, Kyle Fire Department, Kyle, Texas.
  • U.S. Instructor of the Year: Sidney Bradley, Vermont Child Passenger Safety Coordinator, Swanton, Vermont.
  • International Instructor of the Year: Jchanet Tan, certified neuro-linguistic programming practitioner and learning consultant, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Team of the Year: Northern New Jersey Safe Kids/Safe Communities. Team consists of 26 Child Passenger Safety Technicians and Instructors. Coalition coordinator: Karen Jean Feury, nurse practitioner and injury prevention specialist at Morristown Medical Hospital.

The awards are sponsored by Toyota Motor North America.

“We are excited to call out this special group,” said Lonny Haschel, National Child Passenger Safety Board Chair. “They were undeterred by a virus that changed our way of living. They found new ways to provide education and serve families. In doing so, they remained true to an old axiom that guides all who are part of the CPS community: new parents are born every day. They all need to be taught about car seats.”

For infants (younger than 1 year old) riding in passenger vehicles, car seats reduce the risk of fatalities by 71% and for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) by 54%, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet, car seat misuse rates continue to exceed the 40% level, according to data collected by CPS Technicians using the National Digital Car Seat Check Form.

In 2019, car crashes were the second-leading cause of death for children under three and the leading cause of death for children and young adults ages 4 to 22. Research indicates many of the victims were unrestrained or inadequately restrained at the time of the fatal crash.

This data underscores why the work of the National CPS award recipients is so important.

Bakouris took on a leadership role when the Kyle Fire Department’s child passenger safety coordinator stepped down. As much as possible, she kept the department’s monthly car seat check schedule on track. She also fielded calls and worked in a virtual environment to assist parents and caregivers. Kyle Fire partners with Dell Children’s Medical Center through its Kids in Cars program.

Bradley has worked to ensure 94% of residential buildings in Vermont are within a 30-minute drive of a public car seat inspection station, many of these housed in police, fire, hospital and EMS locations and staffed predominantly by volunteers. He oversees a broad-based training program that has produced 200 Child Passenger Safety Technicians, 13 Technician Proxies and 11 Instructors.

Tan led an advocacy effort that resulted in the Parliament of Malaysia passing the country’s first child passenger safety law in January 2020. In addition, she started the first non-governmental organization in her country dedicated to keeping children safe on the roads. The associated Facebook group, which includes professionals and caregivers, has grown to more than 27,000 followers. She has led efforts to train 77 Technicians, including 12 in Singapore.

Feury and the Northern New Jersey Safe Kids/Safe Communities team work across a three-county region manning six car seat inspection stations. In September, they conducted a socially distanced National Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification Training course. They provided free car seats and installation education as part of a new child passenger training program for local agencies reaching under-served populations. They also offered virtual seat checks by appointment.

“The award recipients have demonstrated exceptional work and show safety knows no boundaries,” said Haschel.

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

About the National Child Safety Board
The National Child Passenger Safety Board, a program managed by the National Safety Council, seeks to maintain the quality and integrity of the National Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification Training. The program is used to train and certify child passenger safety technicians and instructors. For more information about child passenger safety or the National CPS Board, please visit the Board’s website at www.cpsboard.org.

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