This is a partnered post.
Whether you are dropping your kids to school, taking the family on holiday, or on a road trip, you should ensure that your family arrives safely. Unfortunately, according to the Child Accident Prevention Trust, 12 children under 10 are injured or killed daily. Below are helpful car safety tips for children.
1. Follow the Law
You should begin by ensuring that you correctly fit car seats for kids and restraints. The law requires that all kids use car seats and restraints correctly until they are 135cm in height or 12 years old. You should also ensure that you use your country’s approved weight-based seats. For instance, those in the UK should use UK-approved child seats for their kids.
2. Ensure the Car Seat is Fitted in Position Correctly
The technique of fitting car seats varies from one model to another. You should also choose the best seat that meets your kid’s height and weight requirements. Unfortunately, research found that almost two-thirds of car seats are incorrectly fitted, with 10% of them installed dangerously.
You should ensure that your car seat suits your car model and is installed correctly. Simply follow the outlined manufacturer’s directions or find an expert to help you with installation. You should also check for correct positioning frequently.
3. Remove Coats and Blankets
Most people carry coats and blankets in their cars for camping or other reasons. Before placing your child into the car seat, ensure that you remove coats, blankets, and other clothing that can increase the distance between the harness straps and the child. If you need to cover your child, lay the blanket across after strapping your child. Never place clothing behind, underneath, or between the harness straps and the child.
4. Always Ensure Your Child Is in the Seat
You should never remove your child from the car seat when on the road. While they may cry for attention or want to feed, your child’s safety in case of a crash fully depends on them being properly restrained. If you have to take the baby out of the car seat, you should consider pulling over.
5. Buckle Up Correctly
Driving or traveling in a car without fastening your seatbelt is illegal in most countries. Drivers are legally responsible for ensuring that passengers under 14 years use an adult seat belt or child-appropriate restraint.
6. Don’t Permit Snacking in the Car
Allowing your kids to eat or snack in their car seats is dangerous. Even if you spend much of your time with kids in the car, find a convenient place and pull over if your child is hungry. Feeding them in the car can turn deadly if you don’t exercise caution. Snacking in the car can lead to accidental choking, especially on bumpy rides. Unfortunately, you may be focused on the road to realize that your child is choking in their rear-facing car seat. If they need some attention, use toys or safe snacks instead, such as yogurt tubes.
You should understand that not all car seats fit all car models. Though often overlooked, new parents should consider this when searching for a new family car. Parents are also encouraged to activate child safety locks, lock power windows, and never leave children unattended for maximum safety.