The holiday season is a busy time of the year. Many people choose to travel to see family and loved ones. Especially with the COVID-19 being among us this year, many families will choose to drive to their destinations instead of flying. When traveling with your family, it is the parents’ responsibility to keep the children safe in the car. It is very often that families get into car accidents, and unfortunately, children get injured.
According to the Kentucky State police, in 2018, 5% of all persons killed in car accidents were children in the state of Kentucky. The numbers have been declining in the recent years, but it is not a statistic that should be taken lightly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that on average, there are three children killed by fatal car crashes each day in the United States. It is imperative that the safety of children while in the car is a top priority. Here are some tips to keep the children safe while driving in the car.
Use the Right Car Seat
Having your child in a car seat is the most important things to do while driving with them in the car. Infants and toddlers should be in rear-facing only car seats. Once they have outgrown the height and weight suggested for them, they should move into a front-facing car seat. These seats should have a harness on them as well. Most of these seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds or heavier. Once they have outgrown the requirements, they should be moved into just a booster seat. Booster seats are used until the child fits into the normal seat belt properly. This is typically when the child is around 4’9”, at about 8-12 years of age. Even once the child does fit into the seat belt accordingly, all children who are under the age of 13 should continue to ride in the back of the car while driving.
Check the Car Seat Before Your Trip
Being sure to check the car seat before use is imperative. You should be sure that you are placing the car seat in the car properly, and that there are no defects. Also, as stated above, be sure to be using the correct type of car seat that is right for your child. As the parent, you should continue to check the car seats regularly. Children are always growing, so you should be careful to observe when the car seat is no longer suitable for your child. As the weather begins to get colder as well, always be sure to take into account the extra clothing that the child has on, such as coats and jackets. This will affect how tight you need the straps to be. Lastly, if you are ever to get into a car accident, you should replace the car seat immediately. Even if it seems like it is okay, you may never know if there is damage that cannot be seen. You should be sure to check with your insurance company if this happens. It is likely that they will cover the cost for a new seat.
Stay Safe This Holiday Season
As parents and drivers, you should be doing everything that you can to keep your children safe in the car. While the busy traveling weeks of the year get closer, be sure to follow all of the tips above to ensure your children’s safety.