Child car safety should be the first thing on every parent’s mind every time they get behind the wheel with their children in the car. The fact of the matter is that no matter where we may be going to how soon we need to get there, our children are our greatest responsibility. By keeping a few simple things in mind, it’s easy to ensure that our children are safe and protected while on the road—until they are driving themselves. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind to protect children while they are in the car.
Using proper car seats isn’t just the single most important step for keeping infants and children safe in the car—it’s the law. Children 10 and under should probably use a car seat or booster seat while riding. The safety systems on modern cars are designed for adults; children have special needs when it comes to safety and only a child car seat or booster seat can properly protect them. Car seats fall into 4 different catagories:
A big factor with how safe children are while riding in the car is where they sit. Parents should remember that the back seat is always the safest place for children. SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) devices such as airbags and seat-belt preloading devices can cause injury to children, since they are designed for adult bodies. Car seats should never be placed in the front. The one exception to this rule is in two seat pickups equipped with an airbag disabling switch, which should be in the “Off” position whenever children are riding.
There are a lot of other details that responsible parents should pay attention to when driving with children in the car. Keep the area that children are riding in clean and free of debris. The trunk or cargo area is the best place for things like strollers and bags. Otherwise they can cause injury in the case of a collision. Make sure that anything you allow a child to play with while in the car is light and soft or else a sudden stop or collision can cause the child to be injured by something as simple as a toy.