You don’t think that when you go in to buy a cup of coffee, you will come away finding out about a Foundation dedicated to educating children, their parents and the wider community about road safety and the need to be even more vigilant during School Holidays.
The Cake Man had a donation box and brochures next to his coffee machine, I picked up the brochure and found out about The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation. This Foundation was created in the loving memory of Thomas Maxwell Davis McLaughlin.
According to the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation website, Tom was a vibrant and loving young boy with a zest for life and an unforgettable smile, and he continues to be a powerful motivator of the foundation every day, with the drawing of blue dinosaurs that he loved to do so much becoming the logo for his foundation. The tragic loss of Tom in a pedestrian road accident on the Central Coast in 2014 motivated his family to establish the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation (LBD), ensuring the promising legacy they saw in Tom’s young life is realised through child road safety initiatives and education.
The Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation is a voice for children. It is Tom’s voice. A clear, determined and passionate voice that speaks to children, for children and their safety. Tom’s message “Slow down; kids around” is an essential one that must be heard in every street, city and town. The work of the Foundation is Tom’s legacy and a single life saved through education and awareness raised in his name is an objective the foundation is very proud to strive for.
“Where there is deep love, much can be accomplished” -Dr Shinichi Suzuki
The foundation is passionate about educating people about road safety and accidents during school holidays. School holidays make up about 3 – 4 months of the year. If you are going away to a holiday destination there are few things you need to bear in mind. The roadways in holiday zones are very different to your child’s normal home environment. A holiday area often lacks the usual visual clues like gutters and footpaths that may help children recognise it is a road.
Children have limited cognitive abilities such as:
- inability to critically analyse a vehicles distance and speed;
- limitations on peripheral vision;
- inability to STOP immediately on request or command; and
- Slower Physical reflexes.
Little Blue Dinosaur is encouraging parents and carers to have a daily conversation with their children about pedestrian road safety, as well as discussing the life-saving importance of HOLDING HANDS until age 10. It is important to explain the various differing types of roadway environments young people are exposed to. These include roads that lack curb and gutters, line markings and footpaths that may confuse children with their limited cognitive abilities.
How can you help:
- Like and Share their Facebook page www.facebook.com/littlebluedinosaur;
- Donate using this link:
- Talk to your local MP about infrastructure improvement funding;
- Ask you school to work with Little Blue Dinosaur or other road safety awareness programmes.
- Products are available to purchase to show your support for the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation
When I was growing up we had two traditions on the last day of school. We were given free Weis Mango Bars (because the factory was in Toowoomba where I grew up) and our head master used to always say to us I want to see you back here next year – repeat after me Accidents do not happen, they are caused. To this day I say this to my child.
Find out more about this inspiring family and their work in raising awareness in this ABC interview