When it comes to child safety, it is better to be safe than sorry. Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week (September 18-24) is dedicated to all things related to child passenger safety and highlights the importance of ensuring that all children are properly secured in an appropriate car seat or seatbelt.
Start with car seat safety
There are dozens of options for child car seats. Your selection should be influenced by your child’s age, weight and height.
Take a look at these car seat safety tips:
1. Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Read the owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system.
3. Check height and weight limits.
4. To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
5. Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
Everyday car safety for your little ones
According to Kids and Cars, each year many children are left alone in vehicles. The potentially tragic consequences of this carelessness are staggering – kidnappings, heat stroke, accidentally setting the car in motion, injury from power accessories, getting trapped in the trunk and even fatal crashes have all occurred when a child was left alone in a vehicle. Accidents can even happen in your own garage or driveway.
Take a look at these car safety tips:
1. When driving somewhere with your child, put something you'll need – your phone, handbag, employee ID or briefcase – on the floorboard in the back seat.
2. Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle when you reach your destination, to make sure no child has been left behind.
3. Keep a large stuffed animal in the child's car seat when it’s not occupied. Then, when the child is placed in the seat, put the stuffed animal in the front passenger seat. It's a visual reminder: anytime that animal is up front you know the child is in the back.
4. When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks immediately.
5. If a child is locked inside a vehicle, get them out as quickly as possible. If they are hot or appear sick, call 911 or your local emergency number.