Don’t Give Up Until They Buckle Up! – Johanna Hicks

We all know everything is bigger in Texas!  However, one number that we do not want to see bigger is the number of children ages 8-14 who are fatally injured in motor vehicle crashes.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 2009-2012, a total of 188 children ages 8-14 were killed in motor vehicle crashes.  Nationally, among children fatally injured in this age group , an average of 49% were unrestrained.  In Texas, however, the rate of unrestrained fatalities was 58%.

Seat belts save lives, but NHTSA data show that as children get older, they are less likely to buckle up.  The percentage of child passengers who die while riding unrestrained generally increases with age and is most pronounced among 13- and 14-year-olds, regardless of seating position.

A recent series of NHTSA focus groups found seat belt use can fall by the wayside when shuttling kids to and from school and activities, when running short errands, or when parents are a bit worn down by the daily grind.  Buckling up is an important habit to instill in children at a young age.  As parents, we need to lead by example and reinforce the message to make sure it sticks.  Most vehicles have a sensor, at least in the front seats, that alert you to buckle up, but backseat passengers need to buckle up, too!

Tweens test the limits, because it’s how they learn and grow.  It’s critical that they absorb the message that the car doesn’t move until everyone in the vehicle is buckled up.  After a while, it won’t be a fight; it will be second nature…and it is a lifesaving lesson that they’ll carry with them always.


Hopkins County 4-H Members Excel in County Contests

4-H is more than showing animals!  It encompasses projects such as shooting sports, clothing & textiles, public speaking, photography, recreation, citizenship, foods & nutrition, and much more.  Recently, thirteen youth participated in the Hopkins County 4-H Contests in Educational Presentations, Public Speaking, Share-the-Fun, and Fashion Show and qualified for District Contests to be held on May 1st and 2nd.  In addition, three more 4-H’ers qualified, as well.  Below are the categories, names, and age divisions of those who participated:

  • Educational Presentations

–          Savannah Allen, Intermediate – Beef (Top-scoring Intermediate)

–          Geoffrey Stewart, Intermediate – Archery (Open category)

–          Eric Bridges, Junior – How to Build a Catapult (Open category)

–          Honesty Bridges, Junior – Sea Turtles (Open Ag/Natural Resources category)

–          Braden Lennon, Junior – Archery (Open category)

Also qualifying for District 4-H Educational Presentations are:  Morgan Mayers, Senior – Beef, Wesley McDonald, Senior – Safety & Injury Prevention, and Ethan George, Junior – Beef.

  • Public Speaking

–          Elida Miller, Intermediate

–          Zia Miller, Junior (Top-scoring Junior)

  • 4-H Fashion Show

–          Aleigh Bessonett, Senior – Semi-formal Construction

–          Jorja Bessonett, Intermediate – Everyday Living Construction

–          Kiara Stowater, Intermediate – Fantastic Fashions Under $25 Buying

Also qualifying for District 4-H Fashion Show is: Ethan George, Junior – Special Interest Buying

  • Share-the-Fun

–          Team of Justin Wilson, Jason Wilson, and Reagan Burnett, Clover Kids – Promote 4-H

Thanks to Frannie Miller for acquiring special awards!  We wish all of these 4-H’ers the best as they prepare for District 4-H Contests!


Closing Thought

Have a blessed Easter and rejoice in new life!


Johanna Hicks

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Family & Consumer Sciences

1200-B W. Houston

P.O.Box 518

Sulphur springs, TX 75483

903-885-3443 – phone

903-439-4909 – Fax

Share This Post On