As parents, it’s your responsibility to keep your children safe and secure everywhere they go. That’s one of the main reasons why most parents are meticulous with their kids’ nutrition, teach them about being cautious with strangers, or warn them about accepting random gifts and treats from people they barely know. But, aside from these steps, another facet of safety you must also look out for is their safety during acar rides.
Some parents are fond of taking their kids with them when driving, even to the nearest store, to ensure that they can watch over their kids. But, as good as this sounds, you also need to ensure you’re keeping your children safe while traveling with you in the vehicle. Whether it’s driving them to school, or if you’re on a road trip or running some errands, keeping your children safe inside and around vehicles is very important.
Here are the six best car safety tips you need to remember when traveling with kids:
1. Install Proper Car Seats
One of the most basic ways to keep your kids safe during car rides is to always use car seats, also known as child safety seats. Car accidents are among the dominant causes of child deaths and injuries around the world. These child safety seats are specifically designed to protect young kids and infants from severe injuries or death during collisions or sudden stopping of vehicles. Such types of seats will restrain their movement away from the structures of the vehicle.
Now that you know the primary purpose of using car seats, the next thing you need to know is how to choose the right car seats fit for your children’s age and size, as well as your car’s model. You may click here for more info about the suitable car seats for children based on age, or you can also consult the manufacturer’s handbook and check which car seats are a perfect fit for your car type.
Once you’ve bought the correct car seats for your kids, read the car seat manual thoroughly for specific instructions about using the seats and see what each part can do. As much as possible, avoid buying second-hand car seats as you can never tell if those seats have been damaged before.
2. Always Activate Safety Locks
When driving with your kids, always remember to activate the child safety locks on the windows and doors to prevent them from suddenly opening them during the trip. Sometimes, kids can get so playful or randomly throw tantrums that they’d intentionally or unintentionally trigger the power window and put any body part outside, leading to accidents. To avoid any dangerous situation and freak accident, always control the locks on your vehicle.
3. No Eating During Travel
One of the most common distractions parents use to keep their kids still during car rides, especially during longer trips, is giving them treats and snacks to eat in the backseat. While this may sound harmless, letting them eat during the trip can be dangerous, and even life-threatening. For example, if your child begins choking on a piece of candy or chocolate after driving on a bumpy road, you’ll barely notice or even react right away since you’re driving.
To avoid this, it’s best to feed your kids before the trip. During the trip, you can give them toys, or let them use their mp3 players and headphones. If your kids still insist on snacking during the trip, you can choose safer food choices, like yogurt and pudding.
4. Secure Fitting Seat Belts For Your Kids
The tightness of your kids’ seat belts also matters for their safety and security. Thus, before you drive away, make sure to check the tightness of their seat belts first. For older kids, demonstrate to them the proper way of tightening seat belts so they’ll start practicing it as a habit, regardless of the vehicle they may ride. Remind them that they can only remove their seat belts when the engine is switched off, and the vehicle is parked safely. Moreover, remind them that it should only be one person per seat belt, which means you shouldn’t let your child sit on your lap during a car ride.
5. Always Check The Back Seat
It’s understandable for parents to do things while on autopilot, especially if they’re running errands or they’re in a rush. But, always make it a habit to check the back seat before you get off the vehicle, and recheck it before you lock your car doors and windows. This is to avoid the risk of forgetting something or someone inside the car. Many incidents have been reported about children dying due to heatstroke while being left inside a vehicle. Even if the chances of your forgetting your kid inside are very minimal, it’s still best to take precautions.
6. Assign Proper Seating Arrangements
Make sure your kids are in their designated seating arrangements. Kids under 13 must be seated at the rear part of the car with their booster or child seats, as well as their seat belts. The purpose of this is to keep these children safe from possible injuries or suffocation in case the front seat airbags will deploy. Keep in mind that your children are still too small and fragile to handle the strong impact of the airbags. You can tell them about the purpose of airbags and how they’re designed to protect adult passengers in case of any strong impact or force brought by collisions or crashes.
Always keep these car safety tips in mind whenever you’re traveling with your kids. Moreover, make sure to teach your children about the importance of these safety practices to ensure they apply the same habit, whichever vehicle they may ride.