Children are the most vulnerable members of the society. They need adults in their lives to nurture, guide, and protect them from many potential dangers in and outside their homes. Of course, parents want the best for their children and will never allow their children to be hurt, most importantly when on the road.
Before you take your young ones on a road trip or just their schools, keep in mind these several measures to ensure children’s safety in and around cars:
USE APPROPRIATE CHILD SAFETY SEATS AND BOOSTER SEATS
Since seatbelts do not fit perfectly to children, child safety seats are used to properly and safely seat infants and toddlers. Rear-facing safety seats are appropriate for infants aged 2 below. For children aged 2 to 5, front-facing safety seats fit the bill. On the other hand, booster seats are used by children aged 5 above, until seat belts fit properly on them.
Make sure that the safety seat and booster seat is properly installed for maximum safety. Use them even on short journeys.
CHILDREN AGED 12 BELOW SHOULD BE SEATED AT THE BACK SEAT
It’s safest for children to seat at the back seat. There is a high chance that the children hit their heads on dashboard or fly out the windshield during an accident when seated at the front seat, so best prepare for the worst before it even happens.
DON’T SEAT CHILDREN IN FRONT OF AN AIRBAG
Yes, airbags can protect adults during accidents, but children and airbags are a bad mix. Airbags could do more harm than good and may cause serious injury to children upon impact. Remember that children at these ages aren’t as physically-built as adults to endure trauma and may in turn jeopardize them even more. It’s best to seat children at the back seat of the car. They have more room to move around, and are far from the most impact-prone part of the car.
NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN ALONE IN THE CAR OR LOCK THE DOOR WITH A CHILD INSIDE
Never leave them especially on hot days, for it can cause heatstroke, or worse, death of the child. Always check the backseat before leaving and locking the car. Worse, don’t leave them with all the windows up, engine on, because you will be exposing them to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
BE A GOOD EXAMPLE TO THE CHILDREN
Practice the usual safety measures while driving, like wearing your seatbelt at all times and not driving while texting. Children imitate the actions of the adults around them, so provide a good example to them. Drive carefully and with discipline. Not only is your life on the balance, but also your child’s.
PICK A VEHICLE WITH TOP CRASH TEST SETTINGS
You should research different cars’ specifications, especially for accidents and collisions, before deciding to buy a car. It wouldn’t hurt to consult a car expert for their advice regarding which car caters best to children’s safety. Also, when buying a second hand car, always know its full crash history so you could make the correct measures for maintenance and repair.
MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE FULL VIEW OF CHILDREN IN AND AROUND THE CAR
Make sure that they are securely placed in their seats and their seat belts are buckled up while on the road. Also, young kids are most at risk to be involved in back-over crashes because they are hard to spot when they are close to the vehicle, especially if you are driving a high vehicle or an SUV. Because of this, make sure to hold your child’s hand when walking in parking lots.
ALWAYS USE CHILD SAFETY LOCKS
Child safety locks on cars prevent the children from accidentally opening the car door while the vehicle is moving. This could prevent a lot of accidents and injuries in the long run. Check your car’s instruction manual so you can activate its child safety lock. If the car does not have automatic childproof locks, call its manufacturer for more information about these kinds of locks.
ALWAYS CHECK THE CAR BEFORE TRAVELING
It’s an important step to do everytime you leave the house, especially on long road trips. It saves you time, money, effort and most importantly, it saves you and your child from accidents.
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