To ensure child safety in the car is one of the challenges parents have to deal with on a daily basis. Even with stricter traffic rules and regulations, car crashes remain to be one of the top causes of childhood death around the globe. A parent can never really be too careful as accidents are lurking at every stop or bend on the road.
Here are a few ways parents can ensure child safety in the car:
Proper Use of Car Seats
Regardless of prevailing children restraint laws in your country or city, using a car seat for your child is non-negotiable. It can be a lifesaver in case of emergencies and tragic road accidents. But investing on a sturdy and good-branded car seat is not enough. You also need to use the car seat properly. It is a must to keep children two to four years of age on rear-facing car seats for as long as possible. You can begin placing them in forward-facing car seats once they reach the maximum height or weight limit of their car seat or when they turn 5 years old. Needless to say, investing on a sturdy and multi-purpose car seat will not only save your child’s life but will also save you a considerable amount of money. Opting for a combination child seat/booster seats will allow you to use the item for a longer period of time.
Children who are inside the car must buckle up at all times. Whether they are still in car seats, or booster seats, or old enough to use seat belts alone, they must be strapped in before the car leaves. According to CDC, serious and fatal injuries can be prevented by up to 80% if parents practice buckling children up appropriately at any given time. Unfortunately, a lot of road-related deaths and injuries appear because adults fail to buckle the children up.
Steer Clear of Distracted Driving
Driving requires your total attention. Having a child on board might make it a little bit tricky and difficult that it pays to have the little ones strapped in so you can focus your attention on the road and your driving. Anything that takes your eye off the road, or your hand away from the wheel is considered a distraction. Make sure to refrain from eating or using your mobile phone while driving. Make sure the little travelers are also comfy in their seats so they will not cause extra distraction while you drive. You may also check these tips on how to make children behave in the car.
Children Must Ride in the Backseat
Infants and children younger than 12 years old must ride in the back of the car at all times. According to Stanford Children’s Health, the center of the back seat is the safest place for the children. Air bags in the front seat can cause major injuries in children in case of accidents or when the air bags inflate.
Do Not Leave Your Child Inside the Car
It is heart-breaking to watch news about little ones being left inside the car and resulting to catastrophic consequences. It can happen to any tired, stressed, or distracted parent, though. It is imperative to stick to a routine you need to follow on each car trip to ensure that no one is left behind the back seat and safeguard your small children. Forgetful mums can make a checklist on their phones or planners and make sure that each item is ticked off before you lock your car. You can also place a child’s belonging in the front seat to serve as a reminder, it can be their favorite bib or plushie. Also, always see to it that you open your back seat whether or not there is someone there, before locking your car and leaving to be on the safe side.
Do Not Drink and Drive
You have heard of this one often enough, but still there are a number of road accidents that could not have been prevented if the passengers did not drink and drive. It is imperative to not drive when you are drunk, especially when you are driving with children. If drinking cannot be prevented, make sure that you designated a driver that will steer clear of alcohol so he or she can drive later on. In worst case scenario, it is a must to hire a personal injury attorney beforehand to help you sort out problems that may rise from drinking under the influence.