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Car Safety Tips for Kids

Keep Your Children Safe on the Road – Vehicle Safety For Kids

We all want to be safe drivers, especially when our kids are with us.  Sadly, however, the leading cause of death among children is from auto accidents.  But by following some simple safety precautions every time we drive, our kids will have the best protection possible.

Ride in the Right Seat.  Look at your child’s age and height to determine where he/she should sit.  Children should ride in a rear facing car seat until age 2 or they outgrow the height and weight limits of the seat.  Then they should ride in a front facing car seat with harness until these height and weight requirements are met.  Until the child is 4’9’’ he/she should use a booster seat in the back of the car (usually age 8-12).  The child should not ride in the front of the car until at least age 13.  Be sure these safety precautions are followed in any vehicle your children ride in, not just your own.

Ensure Your Car Seat is Safe.  Any car seat over 6 years old shouldn’t be used, and never use a car seat that has been in an accident or contains cracks or damage.  If you have a car seat that’s no longer safe be sure to destroy it so no one else uses it by mistake.  Take extreme care when installing your car seat to make sure it is done properly.  Otherwise, the safety benefits diminish.

Buckle Up Correctly.  We all know we need to wear our seat belts and our kids do too, but make sure everyone is buckled properly.  This means the lap part of the belt is snugly across the upper hips (not across the belly) and the shoulder part of the belt is sitting snugly across the chest and collarbone (not under the arm or across the neck).  Getting this right for kids may take some extra adjustments.  Make sure that the fit is proper, not just in your car, but any car your kids ride in.

One Seatbelt Per Child.  Double buckling might seem harmless when taking the soccer team out for ice cream but it’s dangerous no matter how short the trip.  Each child must have his/her own belt and seat.

Maintain Your Vehicle.  Driving around with bad brakes or tires is dangerous, even if everyone’s wearing a seatbelt.  Make sure that your vehicle is properly maintained to ensure a safe ride for everyone.  If your car or truck is having a problem or you’re not sure if it’s safe, have a qualified mechanic check out your vehicle as soon as possible.

Set the Example.  Children often copy adults, so set a good example.  Always wear your seat belt and drive safely, including staying off your cell phone while on the road.  That way when your kids are old enough to drive they’ll do the same.

Safe and Happy Driving to the Whole Family!

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