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Photo of Senator Cathy Osten.

STATE SENATOR

Cathy Osten

Getting Results

Safest Place to Raise a Child? Connecticut Dominates the National Rankings

Several cities and towns in Connecticut top the list of safest places in America for children, according to a new survey.

SafeWise ranked cities and towns based on sex offender concentration, state graduation rates, overall school quality ranking, and FBI violent crime data. Of the Top 30 safest communities in America, Connecticut was home to a third of them, including Greenwich, Fairfield, Ridgefield, Southington, Westport Simsbury, Cheshire, Milford and Glastonbury. Farmington, New Canaan, West Hartford, Newtown, Madison and Darien received ‘honorable mention.’

SafeWise noted that the safest cities in America for raising a family are in coastal New England towns, where quiet, suburban neighborhoods have less crime, promote healthy and active lifestyles, and enjoy well-funded school systems.

Senator Leone with local children

Keep Them Safe--Talk to Your Teen About Safe Driving this Summer

The kids are out of school and for teens with the new-found freedom of getting behind the wheel and hitting the road, there are reasons to slow down and have a talk before handing over the keys.

According to AAA, teens are among the riskiest drivers on the road, crashing four times more often than adult drivers.

The summer months are notoriously dangerous for young drivers. The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is often called "the 100 deadliest days" with teen driver deaths increasing by 15 percent.

teen driver

Across the country each year, 5,600 young people between the ages of 16 and 20 lose their lives in car crashes, making it the leading cause of death for that age group. And the younger the driver, the more likely they are to be in an accident--16 and 17-year-old drivers are twice as likely to crash as their 18 to 19-year-old peers.

So before the kids hop in the car to head to the beach, sit them down and remind them of the dangers posed by distracted or drunk driving, speeding and other unsafe behavior behind the wheel.

It could save their lives and the lives of other people on the road.

Visit http://teendriving.aaa.com/CT for more facts about teen driving, information about teaching your teen how to be a safer driver, a sample parent-teen driving agreement, and more.

Hot Weather Reminder--Kids and Hot Cars Don't Mix

With the summer months upon us, Mother Nature's thermostat will most certainly continue to crank up--making this a potentially dangerous time of year for babies, small children and pets left inside of parked vehicles.

Being left alone in a hot vehicle for even a few minutes can have serious and even deadly consequences. Already, 18 children have died in the U.S. this year after being left unattended in vehicles. Last year, 39 children succumbed to heatstroke after being left in hot cars, and from 1998 to 2016, the total number of heatstroke deaths of children left in cars was 700.

These deaths can be easily prevented by taking a few simple steps to ensure that despite our increasingly busy lives and schedules, tragedy does not strike.

The Department of Meteorology & Climate Science at San Jose State University, in partnership with noheatstroke.org, suggests these safety recommendations:

  • Never leave a child in an unattended car, even with the windows down.
  • Be sure that all occupants leave the vehicle when unloading. Don't overlook sleeping babies.
  • Always lock your car. If a child is missing, check the car first, including the trunk. Teach your children that vehicles are never to be used as a play area.
  • Keep a stuffed animal in the car seat and when the child is put in the seat place the animal in the front with the driver.
  • Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car.
  • Make "look before you leave" a routine whenever you get out of the car.
  • Have a plan that your childcare provider will call you if your child does not show up for school.

Within just ten minutes, vehicle temperatures rise on average by 19 degrees, and within an hour jump to an over 40 degree increase.