Car Safety with Children
Keeping children safe is always important and car safety do’s and don’ts are no exception. To avoid injuries in a car, it’s important to follow proper safety procedures and protocol. Let’s delve right into this topic.
Car Seats and Safety Belts
Never ride with your child and baby on your lap whether you are driving or are the passenger of a moving vehicle. It’s important to keep your baby and toddler in a secure National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated car seat. The car seat should be easy to use, be fitted for your child, and fit properly in your car. The NHTSA also recommends that your child’s car seat be rear-facing until they reach the top height/weight limit within the guidelines of the car seat’s manufacturer. When children are over the manufacturer size, they should be in a forward-facing car seat with harnesses secured appropriately.
If your child is between a car seat and seat belt, a booster seat is recommended that is fastened safely. Typically, a child under 40 lbs. should be in a car seat or booster seat, then 8 years and older can start using a safety belt.
Keep Your Child Away from Airbags
To prevent injuries if airbags are released, keep your child sitting in the back seat of the car as opposed to the front seat. This goes for car seats and booster seats with babies and toddlers as well.
Don’t Do 2-For-1 With Buckling Up
Children should by no means or under any circumstance share one safety belt! For example, one seat/safety belt per child should be followed. This is not a recommendation – this is a rule and law. Sharing one safety belt for two children can cause serious injury if in a car accident.
Don’t Leave Your Child in the Car
Not even for a minute! In just a few minutes, children can suffer from dehydration, lack of air flow (even if windows are rolled down), or can be kidnapped. This is very important to remember and follow. Bring your child or children with you even if you’ll be inside for just a moment.
Trucks and Wagons
If your child is riding in a truck or wagon, make sure they are riding where seat belts are available. If seat belts aren’t handy, then he or she should not be driven in one of those vehicles. This includes truck beds. Some think it is fun to let children go for a ride in the back of a truck but this can cause injury if driving over a bump, if the driver has to slam on their breaks quickly, or if the driver has to swerve.
As you can see, car safety is important and children need to be fastened in safely. Teaching your children car safety at a young age will increase their chances of being safe and cautious drivers as they get older. Children learn from our actions, not just from our words!