Whether you’re at home, at work or in the car, protecting your kids is at the front of your mind. Every now and then we need to be reminded about child car safety. This is your reminder.
Here are a few tips to help keep your precious cargo safe.
Car seat safety
The back seat is generally the safest place in the car for children 12 and under. Although airbags are useful and save many lives, they’re powerful and can injure or kill children, so it’s essential for young children to ride in the back seat of your car.
Common sense and the law tell you that Infants should ride in the back seat in a car safety seat. Keep your child in a safety seat with a full harness as long as possible, or at least until your child is 40 pounds (18 kilograms) and is at least 4 years old. Make sure the seat is properly installed in your vehicle. Infants and children should always ride in child safety seats approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
If at all possible try not to buy a used car seat, unless you just can’t afford a new one.
Child safety locks
Use the child safety locks to keep your child from opening the door and falling out. Use the window safety locks also. Make sure children keep all body parts inside of the vehicle at all times.
Booster seats should be used until the child can sit with his/her back against the vehicle seat back cushion, knees bent over the seat cushion edge, and feet on the floor, approximately 4’9″.
Children left in cars
According to the Department of Geosciences of San Francisco State University, there have been at least three deaths of children due to hyperthermia (heat stroke) after being in hot cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s so far this year in the U.S. These needless tragedies are 100% preventable. Take the time and double check to make sure your children are safely out of the vehicle before you lock the doors and go about your activities. In 2011 there were at least 33 juvenile vehicular hyperthermia fatalities, and since 1998 there have been at least a total of 530 deaths. This study shows that these incidents can occur on days with relatively mild (i.e., ~ 70 degrees F) temperatures and that vehicles can reach life-threatening temperatures very rapidly.
For more ideas and tips on how to keep your children safe while riding in the car visit safekids.org