Car Safety Tips for Children
As parents, we try to keep our kids safe. We make them wear bike helmets, serve them vegetables, and we secretly watch them walk to the school bus in case they get distracted. We might feel better if we could keep two eyes fixed on our 6-year-old all the time. But how can we protect our kids when our eyes are supposed to be on the road?
Driving with child passengers is one of the most dangerous things we do. Follow these tips to keep kids safe while in the car.
1. Stay Back.
The backseat is the safest place for children under 12 years old. The front seat is not safe for small children. The seatbelt is not designed to fit them, and the airbags can be dangerous for small people like children. It’s also easier to maintain control of the radio, and avoid answering a million questions while dealing with rush-hour traffic.
2. Buckle Up.
Whenever you drive or ride in a vehicle, you should buckle up. Seatbelts save lives, only 87 percent of Utah drivers and passengers always buckle up. Seat belt use is even more important when children are in the car. Start now. Set a good example for your children by always wearing your seatbelt, and get your kids in the habit of seat belt use now.
3. Buckle In.
For smaller children, correct car seat use is a must. Click here for Utah’s car seat laws. Small children should always ride in the required car seat. Their small size makes them especially susceptible to injuries during a car accident.
4. Turn It Off.
One of the best things you can do to keep your kids safe while you are behind the wheel is to declare your vehicle a phone-free zone so that you can drive without phone distractions. Phone use was responsible for more than 47 percent of fatal accidents in 2015, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Those accidents can be avoided, and keep your children from harm, if you look up directions, or text another person before leaving your parking spot.
5. Watch the Heat.
Children should never be left alone in a hot car. Each year more than 30 children die after being trapped in hot vehicles. You can avoid this situation by never leaving your child alone in a vehicle. It can be easy to forget a sleeping baby because the child will not cry to be let out of the car. If you are worried that you may forget about your sleeping baby, place an important object like your wallet or shoe near the car seat. That way, when you get out of the car, you will need to retrieve your item from the backseat, and you will remember to remove your sleeping child.