Car accidents are a primary cause of childhood death under the age of 13. As a result, parents and guardians should take extra precautions to keep their little ones safe in cars. Here are 21 crucial child car safety tips to help prevent an accident or injury.
1. Make sure your children are always buckled in
Car seats save lives. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, they reduce the chance of death by 50 percent for infants and toddlers during an accident. However, less than 38% of children under the age of 13 ride in car seats or booster seats on any given day. Parents should regard how important it is to buckle their children in properly. Make sure to switch your child’s heart if they outgrow it, and always buckle up younger siblings when you’re driving somewhere.
2. Use age-appropriate car seats
Infant: According to Safe Kids USA, babies under the age of one should ride in rear-facing car seats. These car seats typically only accommodate the baby and not much else, so make sure there is enough room for your things as well.
- 1-3 years: Children in this age range should ride in forward-facing car seats with harnesses until they reach their seat’s height and weight limit.
- 2-4 years: Booster seats are safe for everyone under the age of seven, as long as the child sits appropriately and is strapped in.
- 4-7 years: Children at this age don’t need a booster seat but should remain seated in the car’s back. They should still be strapped in with a seat belt that fits them.
- 8+ years: Seat belts are safe for children who have outgrown their booster seat and are tall enough to use a seat belt properly.
3. Make sure your child’s car seat is installed correctly
For infants, the rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit two fingers between your baby’s neck and the straps of their car seat. The harness straps should also lie flat against your baby’s chest, close to the shoulders. For older children, you should be able to fit one finger between their neck and the straps of their car seat.
4. Check for recalls regularly
Many car seats on the market today may not be safe or adequately tested before they’re released. That’s why it is essential to check for car seat recalls regularly. You can keep up to date with car seat identifies by reading the official website.
5. Don’t put your baby’s car seat in the front of the vehicle
While many parents think it is safer to place their infant or toddler in the front of the car, this is one of the worst places you could put their car seat. The front of the car is more likely to be involved in a crash, and there’s also a greater chance your baby will be ejected from their car seat if placed in the front.
6. Use rear-view mirrors correctly
According to Kids and Cars, all children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat of any vehicle. Make sure to adjust your rear-view mirror so you can see the back seat of your car. Also, always check for children in the back seat before leaving somewhere.
7. Drive slowly around schools and parks
When you’re near a school or public park where lots of kids are running around, drive slowly. Wait Patiently for a few extra minutes to reach your destination, and keep a different close eye on the road.
8. Don’t leave a child unattended in a car
Not only is it illegal to drive with children inside a vehicle that is not adequately protected by safety measures, but it’s also dangerous. For example, a child could become involved in a car accident and be ejected from their seat, or the airbag could deploy and seriously hurt them. It’s also possible that children can get into serious trouble while left alone in a car, like starting the engine and driving away.
9. Stop all road traffic when you see an emergency vehicle
If you happen to come across an accident scene with a fire truck, ambulance, or police car present, stop all traffic and wait for the emergency workers to clear the area before continuing.
10. Never leave a baby in a parked car.
Even if you plan to be gone from your vehicle for only a few minutes, don’t ever leave your baby inside it without any adult supervision. It’s Not only dangerous but also an illegal act; you could also get into serious legal trouble for it. According to Kids and Cars, if the temperature outside the car is over 32 degrees Celsius, then the temperature inside your vehicle can reach 47 degrees Celsius within an hour.
11. Never leave a baby or toddler in a hot car by themselves.
Leaving a baby unattended in a car will suffer from heatstroke and suffocate. According to Kids and Cars, this is why it’s essential to never leave any child under the age of 12 alone in a vehicle at any time of day for any period.
12. Make sure your car windows are tinted properly.
According to Kids and Cars, tinted windows can reduce the amount of heat that enters your car by 60 percent. So when it’s hot outside, this could help prevent your baby or toddler from overheating. Read through this list of state laws if you want to get more information on precisely how much tint it is allowed state.
13. Get a suitable car seat for your child’s age and size.
Before getting a new car seat, make sure to check what type and weight rating are required by law in your state. This will ensure that your baby or toddler has a safe and legal ride when they’re traveling with you. Also, follow the instructions provided with your car seat to install it correctly in your vehicle.
14. Never made kids fall from the shopping cart.
A child can easily fall out of a shopping cart and be injured by even the gentlest fall. They could also crawl away from where you’re located and find themselves in a dangerous spot, like in the middle of a grocery store aisle.
15. Keep car doors locked and windows up when not driving.
Kids and Cars state that one-third of all children who die in vehicle crashes every year died because they were trapped in the trunk or cargo area. Also, there have been cases where young children climbed into unlocked cars and somehow got stuck inside, unable to escape.
16. Always ensure to lock car doors are locked before driving off before driving.
Safety is the important factor when considering your child’s safety from your home or office; always double-check that the doors on your vehicle are locked before starting up the engine and taking off. This will ensure that no child gets into an unlocked car while you’re away from it.
17. Never leave a baby unattended in a hot vehicle.
Don’t ever leave your child unattended inside a vehicle for any period, especially if the outside temperature is hotter than 32 degrees Celsius. The heat can get trapped inside an automobile very easily, even with the windows cracked while you’re away.
18. Don’t leave young children alone in a vehicle of any kind.
Kids and Cars state that it’s never safe for an infant or toddler to ride in the backseat of a car on their own, even if they are buckled in with their seatbelt. This is because airbags can seriously injure small children even when they’re in the backseat and belted. Also, an incapacitated driver can leave a young child stranded without any way to escape if something were to happen.
19. Never let your children ride unrestrained in a vehicle.
Ensure they’re properly restrained if you want your kids to be as safe as possible while riding in a car. Whether they’re riding in a car seat, booster seat, or just using the seatbelt, it’s important to always buckle them up while you drive.
20. Teach your children to teach methods to escape the vehicle if stuck.
Teach your young children how to open the rear door and get out of a car if they ever get stuck inside while it’s running. Also, teach them to never go near a car if the driver is still in it or can’t see an adult nearby.
21. Check for the Child Locks
Never expect your toddlers or kids to be as obedient as in class. They might rush out of the car for anything they find amusing. All you need is to get yourself prepared for the situation for which applying Child Locks is the primary step to follow.
If you like to travel with your children, one of the biggest concerns is their safety when in a car. The safety f your child when traveling at low speeds might not be a big problem as it becomes a problem when traveling on highways and other road conditions requiring higher speeds. There is no room for negligence regarding child safety in cars. Look at the tips mentioned above and ensure maximum safety for your kids.