Whether you’re going on a short errand or for a long trip, ensuring your kids’ safety in and around the car should be your priority. In 2019, 608 child passengers aged 12 years and below died in motor vehicle crashes, while more than 91,000 were injured. Of the ones who died, 38% weren’t buckled up. Adhering to car safety guidelines for children will help keep your kids safe. Here are a few car safety tips every parent should know:
1. Use car seats appropriately
The appropriate use of car seats involves ensuring that your kids are properly buckled up in booster seats, car seats, or seat belts, depending on their age, weight, and height. Use rear-facing car seats for your kids from birth until they’re two to four years old. Forward-facing seats are for those who have outgrown the rear-facing seat and can be used until they’re at least five years old.
Use a seat booster for those who have outgrown the forward-facing seat and buckle them with a seat belt until the seat belt can properly fit without the booster. This happens when a child is between nine to 12 years old. Shopping around for the best baby accessories will help you find good-quality seats for your children.
2. Always activate child safety locks
Activating all the child safety locks on windows and doors ensures that the kids won’t open them when the car moves, avoiding injuries and other hazardous conditions. Though unintentionally, kids can trigger the power windows, pinning their hands, fingers, arms, or even the head, causing harm. This is why it’s essential to ensure that all the car windows and doors are properly secured.
3. Don’t let your kids eat in the car
While snacking in the car may seem unavoidable, letting the kids eat, especially when you’re driving, can be dangerous. For example, if your child begins to choke on food while on a bumpy road, you may not notice it immediately, and this could be fatal. If they must snack, consider pulling over somewhere safe so you can allow them to have their food safely.
4. Double-check the car seat installation process
Incorrect or loose installation of a car seat can be dangerous. This is why you should first learn the seat installation process before doing it yourself, keeping your child safe. Carefully read the car seat manual together with your car’s manual to learn how you can safely install the car seats and avoid costly mistakes. You may also consider having a seat installation professional to ensure car seat safety.
5. Keep the car clean
Strapping your young one in doesn’t always mean they’re safe. This is because they may keep trying to reach out to things close to them. Cleaning your car helps you get rid of dangerous items, including the smallest things that a child can swallow. Keeping your car clean assures you that they’re safe from such items.
6. Avoid distractions while driving
Avoiding distractions while driving is a top safety rule each parent should follow. Distracted driving can lead to accidents, endangering your children’s lives and exposing them to potentially severe injuries. Be sure to eliminate all distractions and focus on the road.
Driving with kids can be tricky, so you should be careful and responsible. Use the above tips to keep the car safe for your little ones.
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