Most of us live busy, hurried lives, and our vehicles help make it all happen which is why these car safety tips for kids are so important. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that car accidents are the number one cause of fatalities in children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. This statistic emphasizes how critical it is to take child car safety precautions seriously. Here are eight car safety tips that can help you do just that.
1. Car Safety Using a Car Seat or Booster Seat
There are several choices for car or booster seats. Choosing the right seat comes down to the child’s age, height and weight. Read through the manufacturer’s instructions provided by the car seat you are considering. Pay attention to height and weight limitations and well as how they recommend installing it. If you would like to have your car seat inspected, click here for a list of locations.
2. Car Safety Using Seat Belts
Buckling up is the single most important thing you can do when it comes to car safety. As a parent, you need to set a good example by always wearing your seat belt every time you get in the car. Also, check to make sure everyone in the car buckles up, and don’t start driving until everyone has complied.
3. Avoid Distractions
Most people are guilty of distracted driving, but that doesn’t make it ok. It is important for drivers to focus on the road and vehicles around them. Ways to help avoid distractions include limiting activity levels in the vehicle including horseplay and eating. Consider putting away the cell phone as well. If you have an emergency, pull over and stop the car.
4. Encourage Distractions
The right kind of distraction is good. Especially if it means the kids will behave. To avoid dangerous distractions from the kiddos, keep them preoccupied with things like movies (portable DVD players are great), books, and coloring books. Make it a rule that there’s no horse playing, exchanging seats, or fighting allowed in the car.
5. Count Your Kids
Parents that drive with children in the car often report being preoccupied. In some cases, this preoccupation has resulted in leaving a child behind, including a family member or a child you’re carpooling! Make it a habit to count your kids before heading on your way.
6. Car Safety Kits
Always keep a car safety (emergency and first aid kits) in your vehicle. You can start with a pre-packaged car safety kits, but putting your own kits together offers some worthwhile benefits including having exactly what you’ll need. In Arizona, you should always have water in your kit as well as first-aid supplies.
7. Educate Your Kids
Make sure that your kids know to never to get in a car with a stranger. Work through scenarios with them so they’ll be prepared when it happens. Some of the scenarios you can work through include being told their parents okayed it, offering candy or a gift, or having a friend with the stranger. Teach them that there is never a reason for them to get in a car with a stranger.
8. Make Sure Your Car is Maintained
Having a well-maintaned car is the best car safety tip we can offer. Always take care of your car, and when you need service – contact us.