Keeping kids safe in parking lots

The Connecting for Kids Parking Lot Safety Kit comes with a special magnet to show children where to place their hand and safely wait for an adult.

Have you had a scare in a parking lot or driveway? You are juggling bags of groceries, responding to a text or maybe getting your baby out of the car seat. You are distracted for a second – the amount of time it takes your toddler or preschooler to run away from your vehicle and into a busy area. Many of us can relate to this occurrence that happens all too often. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on average, 96 fatalities and 2,000 injuries in children occur every year due to being backed over.

Connecting for Kids is launching a Parking Lot Safety Awareness Program to help change this statistic by offering families free safety kits to educate children about the dangers of running away from a car without holding an adult’s hand. The key part of this program is a free magnet that families can put on their car where the child exits. These magnets give children a visual place to put their hand to wait until an adult can safely take their hand and lead them to the next destination.

Be one of the first to obtain these kits at the Connecting for Kids Meet and Greet held on Wednesday, April 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Don Umerley Civic Center, 21016 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River.

The Meet and Greet is a free, public event where families can learn about local resources, therapies, after-school programs and summer camps for their child who is struggling (with or without a formal diagnosis).  articipants can visit with representatives from more than 70 organizations to discuss services and explore program options.

Along with the magnet, the Parking Lot Safety Awareness Program also features:

  • A parent guide for teaching children parking lot safety strategies by using S.T.A.R. (Stop, Touch, Attention and Ready).
  • A Parking Lot Safety S.T.A.R. certificate a child can hang in his/her room or on a refrigerator.
  • A children’s social story with step-by-step visual instructions for staying safe.

Starting on April 13, visit to fill out the form to receive the magnet and to download supporting materials. For more information and to register for the event, visit For questions about the event, contact Laurie Demchak at or 440-250-5563.

The Parking Lot Safety Awareness Program is sponsored by the Knight Chisholm Insurance Agency.

The Meet and Greet event is sponsored by Abilities First, LLC, Building Blocks Therapy/Galvin Therapy Center, The Child & Family Counseling Center of Westlake, Meghan Barlow and Associates, Milestones Autism Resources, North Coast Education Services, Spectrum Resource Center & School, and State Support Team – Region 3. Desserts are donated by Buca di Beppo and coffee donated by Starbucks Coffee Company.

Lorilynn Wolf

Lorilynn Wolf serves as the Communications Director for Connecting for Kids.

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Volume 9, Issue 6, Posted 10:12 AM, 03.21.2017