They are your everything. Your children mean the world to you and you would do absolutely anything to keep them safe. Between cleaning every surface in the house and blocking every electrical outlet you have done everything in your power to keep them safe. However, the battle to keep them safe does not only exist at home.
Another place you often worry about the safety of your children is in your car while driving. Driving is almost second nature to society and because of that our children spend much of their childhood as passengers in our vehicles.
Cars can be dangerous there is no denying that. Although, there is a number of steps you can take to ensure the safety of your children while driving in the car.
An article by Consumer Reports 6 wonderful tips to ensure your child’s safety while driving.
- Buckle up
It seems so simple to do, but some people still don’t use seat belts despite the overwhelming benefit of doing so. Studies have shown that seat belts are responsible for saving 329,715 lives in the last 50 years. Additionally, Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers. NHTSA data shows that more than half of teenagers who died in crashes weren’t wearing a seatbelt.
- Know their place
Children 12 years and under should always ride in the rear seat in an appropriate child seat or with the vehicle’s seat belt.
- Secure gear
Any loose odds and ends in the car can become dangerous projectiles if you have a crash or even if you just have to jam on the brakes. Don’t stash anything remotely heavy on the package shelf behind the rear seats. Secure loose items in the trunk using cargo anchors. Put heavy items on the floor or as far forward in the cargo area as possible. Don’t put anything on top of the cargo pile that could fly into the seat area. People can become projectiles too. Unbelted rear-seat passengers can fly forward in a crash, injuring both themselves and people up front.
- Make sure children are using the proper car seat and that it is installed correctly
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 73 percent of car seats are improperly installed—usually not secured to the vehicle tightly enough. To make sure your seat is installed correctly; carefully follow the instructions that came with it or look online if you’ve misplaced them. For more help, go to safekids.org and find a car seat technician near you who can inspect the seat, and show you how to cinch it up correctly in your car if necessary. Learn the right age to move your child up to the next car seat, but don’t be in a hurry. With every move up to the next level, you give up a little bit in crash safety. Bear that in mind no matter how much your kids complain that their friends are in boosters already, or have moved on to using just the vehicle’s seat belt. Keep them in a child safety seat appropriate for their height and weight.
- Don’t text and drive
We all know the allure of the beeps and buzzes of cell phone notifications but resist the temptation to read and respond to messages. Put your phone in airplane mode, turn down the volume, shut it off, or put it away. Distracted driving not only puts everyone in a dangerous situation, but it teaches young people bad habits. You can expect your kids to behave exactly as you do when the time comes.
- Never leave children alone in or around cars
Children die every year from heatstroke in vehicles. Many were inadvertently left in the car. Be vigilant to make sure you know where your child is at all times and leave reminders for yourself that a child is in the back, such as a toy on the front seat or briefcase or purse in the back. That way you must look in the back before leaving the car.
These tips may seem like common knowledge but, believe it or not, people fail to accomplish these acts while driving on a daily basis. Keep your children and the children of others safe and follow these helpful tips the next time you get in the car with children as passengers.