As a parent, having a child means always worrying about their safety. They tend to want to touch everything and go everywhere, which can often lead to dangerous situations. However, one of the most dangerous places for a child is actually in the car. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for children and young adults.
This is why it’s so important to be extra careful when driving with children in the car. There are many different things you can do to make sure your child is as safe as possible, from using the right car seat to making sure the seat belts are properly adjusted.
Here are 10 best practices for child safety in cars that will help you keep your little one safe on every trip!
Table of Contents
1. Use the Proper Car Seat
One of the most important things you can do for child safety in cars is to use the proper car seat. The type of seat your child needs will depend on their age, weight, and height. It’s important to consult with a professional to make sure you’re using the right seat for your child.
2. Make Sure the Car Seat is Installed Properly
Installing a car seat correctly can be tricky. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and that you understand how to properly secure the seat in your car. It’s also a good idea to get the car seat checked by a professional to make sure it’s installed correctly. This is something that many police departments offer for free.
3. Adjust the Car Seat Straps Properly
Once the car seat is installed, it’s important to make sure the straps are properly adjusted. The shoulder straps should be at or above your child’s shoulders and the lap belt should be low on their hips, not their stomach. You should also make sure the straps are snug so that your child can’t wiggle out of them.
4. Use a Booster Seat if Your Child is Too Big for a Car Seat
When your child outgrows their car seat, they’ll need to use a booster seat. Booster seats are designed to lift your child up so that the seat belt fits properly. This is important because the seat belt should always go across the shoulder and not the neck. You can usually use a booster seat until your child is about 4’9” tall.
5. Tint the Windows
Another great way to help keep your child safe in the car is to tint the windows. This will help protect them from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It can also help keep the car cooler on hot days. Aside from that, when your car windows are tinted, it’s more difficult for someone to see inside, making it more difficult for them to target your car.
6. Never Leave Your Child Alone in the Car
It might seem like a good idea to leave your child alone in the car while you run into the store real quick, but it’s actually very dangerous. Cars can heat up quickly, even on mild days, and leaving your child alone in a hot car can be fatal.
7. Don’t Let Your Child Ride in the Front Seat
The front seat is the most dangerous place for a child to be. In the event of a crash, the airbag can deploy and seriously injure or even kill a child. It’s best to keep your child in the back seat until they are at least 12 years old.
8. Buckle Up
Of course, one of the most important things you can do for child safety in cars is to buckle up. You should always wear your seat belt and make sure your child is buckled up as well. In fact, all passengers in the car should be buckled up to help reduce the risk of injury in the event of a crash.
9. Drive Safely
This is obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Driving safely is the best way to keep your child safe while in the car. That means obeying the speed limit, using turn signals, and not driving impaired. It’s also a good idea to leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you so that you have time to stop if necessary.
10. Teach Your Child Good Car Safety Habits
One of the best things you can do for child safety in cars is to teach your child good car safety habits. This includes things like always wearing their seatbelt, not playing with the door locks, and not putting their hands or feet out the window. The more you can teach your child about car safety, the safer they will be.