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No. 1 Killer of Teens Totally Preventable

I enjoyed Jen Hatchmaker's recent article, "What Would My Mom Do? (Lock Us Outside and Drink Tab)." Jen's trying to be the cheerleader to all of us parents and and persuade us to stop being so incredibly neurotic. She implores us to bring the joy back to being a parent.

When talking about the upcoming summer and her five children, and wondering what to do with their schedules, I have to ask, what would my mom do?

She talks about how her mom would make them bologna sandwiches and just tell them to go outside and play.

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There's nothing more that I would love for my own children than to just let me go outside and play.

I know my children, especially my 8-year-old, is frustrated with his lack of independence. It's not because I do not want to give it to him.

I would love for my child to walk around our neighborhood with friends. Unfortunately, I live in Los Angeles, the hit and run capitol of the U.S. Here we are with this perfect year-round weather and, yet, in this humongous city, it's incredibly hard to find a place for my children to go on walks.

My own neighborhood lacks sidewalks. It's an older community and sidewalks, apparently, do not pair with its "rural appeal," despite being 10 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.

So you don't see kids walking around.

When we went to the nearby public school, we walked there. But a lot of other moms, who could've walked, chose not to because it was too dangerous. Other people, some of them—no, a lot of them—parents, speeding by.

I whole- heartedly agree to letting our children explore, but I do not want to lead my child into a world where the No. 1 cause of death to them is preventable—yet I am not doing anything to prevent it.

A large number of them? Yes. And distracted by texting or making phone calls or, generally, giving their attention to a little screen rather than what's on the other side of the big windshield in front of their faces.

Did you know that around 110 Americans die every day due to car crashes?

Car crashes are the leading cause of death to our young. Here's the kicker: most car crashes are preventable.

I urge you to take part in April's distracted driving month activities. In other words, drive without touching your phone. Drive without even being on a hands-free device.

Did you know that hands free is not safe? I repeat, hands-free is not safe.

If you think it's impossible to go without talking or texting while driving, I want you to think about how impossible it seems to lose your child.

Jeri Dye Lynch lost her teenage son, Conor, when he was struck by a distracted teenager and killed, all while he was running cross country. She has become a huge advocate against distracted driving.

Texting and driving receives the most amount of media in regards to distracted driving, but it's not the only form of distracted driving.

It's a slow guerrilla movement, but it's worth your time.

There is also excessive speeding, tailgating and/or anything that takes our minds off the road.

I whole- heartedly agree to letting our children explore, but I do not want to lead my child into a world where the No. 1 cause of death to them is preventable—yet I am not doing anything to prevent it.

There are hand full of moms and dads that I have gotten to know from my own motor safety advocacy who have lost their children.

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They have started foundations trying to make neighborhoods in streets safer for you and your children. Support them. They need help, trust me. It's a slow guerrilla movement, but it's worth your time.

Here are some sites you can visit, like their page and help spread the word:

Fix The Toaster

The Conor Lynch Foundation

Finish The Ride

Stop The Texts

ENDDD.org

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