It’s September, which means back to school, regular routines, and kick-off for extracurricular events. As a parent, that also starts a season with many hours behind the wheel of your car, transporting your little Mini-Me passengers.
It’s fitting that September 18th to 24th is Child Passenger Safety Week. What better time is there to review safety tips for keeping your children safe in the car?
Know the Proper Seating
Do you know where your children should sit in the car? If they are 12 or under, the answer is NOT in the front seat. Your little ones should always be in the back seat of your car whether you’re driving a short distance or to an out-of-state tournament. It’s the safest place to be.
Use the Appropriate Child Car Safety Seat
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children under the age of two should use a rear-facing car seat (it’s even better to use this type of seat until they outgrow it). They should then use a front-facing child seat until the age of eight to twelve, or until they’ve grown to four feet, nine inches tall. Many child seats on the market today are three-in-one or four-in-one designs to accommodate your child’s growth. They can be adjusted through children’s stages of growth, from rear-facing seats in infants to booster seats later on. Once they’ve outgrown a booster seat, they should be buckled into the back seat.
Always Wear a Seat Belt
When your child has graduated to using the car’s seat belt, whether in a booster seat or on its own, it needs to be adjusted correctly. The shoulder belt should ride across the shoulder and chest and should not rub on their neck or face. The lap belt should be positioned over the hips and lap, not across the stomach. Adjust the seat belt height adjustment to properly fit your child, and continue to use a booster seat if the lap belt doesn’t fit properly. It’s the safest way to wear a seat belt to prevent injury in an accident.
Get In and Out of the Car Safely
When your kids are getting in and out of the car, accidents can happen quickly. It takes no time at all for children to dart in an unexpected direction, and in the busy city, hazards are everywhere. The following tips are helpful for keeping your children safe as they enter or exit the car.
Use Child Safety Locks
They’re in your car for a reason, though don’t get used by many people. Child safety locks on the back doors prevent the door from opening from the inside. When child safety locks are used, little feet aren’t darting into traffic before you get a chance to take them by the hand.