child safety

Child Auto Safety

Child Auto Safety

As early as those first few newborn days the first worry on the minds of the parent is the safety of their child.

Safety for children when traveling is no exception. In fact, child auto safety may be one of the very first concerns a parent faces, as many hospitals today will not allow a baby to leave the hospital without a child safety seat.

Research shows that children are injured seriously or even killed in car crashes and accidents more than in any other type of accident.

You have the responsibility to do what you can as a parent to protect your child from these tragedies as well as you can.

Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable, it is why they are called accidents, but by implementing a few standard safety precautions, many can be prevented.

Child Safety Seats and Seat Belts

The first precaution you need to take for vehicle safety for your child is that all age appropriate children are wearing a seat belt or using the proper safety seat.

Safety seats are responsible for reducing injury or death when accidents occur.

Child safety seats are available according to height, weight, and age requirements and it is our responsibility as parents to ensure our children are using the proper safety seat.

Most state requirements are such that safety seats should be used until the age range of 6-8.

Once your child is old enough to move out of the safety seat, you need to ensure they are using seat belts every time they are in the vehicle.

Use Safety Seats Properly

Using safety seats improperly is a leading cause of child injury when an accident occurs. If your child is using safety seats, it is also imperative that the seat is installed correctly.

It is estimated that more than 80% of child safety seats are not installed properly.

You can do this yourself by following the instructions that come provided with your safety seat.

Many police stations and public safety programs will offer safety seat clinics where you can take your seat and your vehicle and have it installed for you at little or no cost.

Make sure that the person who is installing your seat is a certified child safety technician.

Having your seat installed by a professional will ensure that your seat is installed properly and safely.

Do Not Use Used Safety Seats

Another issue about child auto safety is that you do not want to use a used car safety seat.

It is wise to stay away from used seats that are more than 10 years old. If you simply can not afford a new one and are forced to use a used seat, check with the manufacturer to ensure that there has been no recall on the product that you are using.

Recalls with child products are very common, and the manufacturer may even assist you with a replacement seat or a new product.

Child Auto Safety Tips

There are other things you must know when it comes to child auto safety. Here are a few key tips that you can use to keep your children safe in your vehicle at all times:

  • Do not leave your children unattended in the car in inclement weather. This means that when the weather is too hot or too cold, it is unsafe to leave your child in a vehicle for any amount of time.
  • Ensure your children use a seatbelt every time they are in the car. Make it a rule that “no one goes anywhere” until they “make it click”. Do not allow your children to share seatbelts. Each child gets one seatbelt.
  • If you are traveling in a different country, ensure your safety seats are approved for that country. Don’t assume they are. Check the government pages of the country you are visiting for specific requirements.
  • Any child safety seat that has been involved in a collision must be discarded.
  • Do NOT allow children under the age of 12 to sit in the front seat if there is a passenger side air bag.
  • Do not allow your children to play with latex balloons, small food items, or small toys that represent a choking hazard in the car. If you are driving and your child chokes, there is little you can do about it.
  • Do not store any tanks involving fumes or fuels in your vehicle. This includes barbecue tanks and gasoline tanks.
  • Always ensure you keep an emergency kit in your car at all times. This should include water, non-perishable food items, blankets, flashlights, and some standard tools.
  • Keep your keys in a safe place where your child can not get to them. Children like the buttons on today’s key FOBs and may accidentally lock themselves in the car at any time.
Ensure these rules of child auto safety are strong in your child’s mind and ask them to follow these rules no matter what vehicle they are in.

If they are traveling with a friend or relative, you will have peace of mind that you have taught your children properly and they will be safe on the road no matter where they are.

Child Auto safety resources:

Kids Health

Invest In Kids

American Academy of Pediatrics

Safety 1st Infant Car Seats

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