In 1994, 5,141 children age four and under were injured in
automobile accidents in
New York State. 17 of those children died. Some of those children were not riding in
the same vehicles as their parents or guardians. Today, children may ride with a
baby-sitter, grandparents, or other caregivers. In the event of a motor vehicle accident that incapacitates parents or other adult passengers, emergency service personnel have no source of information to identify the child or his/her special medical needs. Also, efforts to identify and contact the child's next of kin may be significantly delayed.
In some cases, rescue efforts may proceed more smoothly and efficiently if emergency personnel know the name of the frightened child they are treating. This is where the WHALE (We Have A Little Emergency) program can make a difference.
The WHALE Program is an identification and information
package for child car safety seats created by Connie Day, a caregiver from Richmond, VA,
who wondered what would happen to the children in her care in the event of an
The first program of its kind in the United States, WHALE is currently used in 32 states. It requires the use of four self-adhesive stickers and one informational label:
One informational label attached to the rear of the car seat provides important information about that child in the seat, such as name, date of birth, medical history, and who to contact in case of an emergency. Place a photo of your child in the space provided, and update as the child grows. If placed on the back of the seat, this label
and photo will not be visible from the outside of the vehicle, thus ensuring the privacy
of these personal facts. Do not use a pen with ink that will smudge, such as a felt tip or roller ball pen.
Two WHALE Car Seat Stickers, attached to the sides of the safety seat, and two WHALE Vehicle Stickers, attached to the rear side windows of the vehicle, depict the WHALE logo and alert rescuers that the vehicle occupants participate in the program.
Hey, I'm just a little person. I don't know my name,
address, phone number or how to reach any of my relatives. Please help assist
me by adding WHALE stickers to my child safety seat. In the event of an
accident, the emergency personnel will have my name and knowledge of how to
reach someone who really knows my special needs! Thanks again for loving and
caring about me.
New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, 1670 Columbia Turnpike, Castleton, New York 12033. (518) 477-2631 or (800) 676-3473.