Kids and cars: 5 things you need to know
By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert
Every parent feels the same emotions when leaving the hospital with a newborn. It’s a sense of overwhelming protection and willingness to keep your child safe at all costs. And the feeling never fades as most parents work hard to ensure their child’s safety throughout the years.
When it comes to keeping your child safe in the vehicle, it takes more than a car seat to make it happen. That’s because car accidents and children’s injury occurs every day in the city of San Diego. These 7 essential roadway rules are created with your child in mind – to keep them safe and out of harm’s way.
Know your car seat
Car seats keep your child protected in the event of a car accident. But did you know that car seats can expire due to corroding plastic and the chance for worn parts? Check the plastic casing of your child seat for its expiration date to ensure your seat will withstand impact in the event of an accident. You should also ensure your child seat is installed properly. A child seat installation checkpoint station is free and can make a lifetime of a difference if an accident should occur. For more info on child seat installation stations, log onto SaferCar.gov.
Most often above all other factors, distractions are the cause of car accidents in San Diego. To avoid a collision, it’s never been more important to reduce distractions. That means GPS devices, radios, CD players, iPods, DVDs and other entertainment systems should be used to a minimum. And if you must put music or movies on for the little ones, always pull over to do it safely.
Stay on top of recalls
A vehicle recall or a child safety device recall can seriously injure your child. Stay on top of the latest vehicle and product recalls by logging onto Recalls.gov. You can even set up recall alerts for the products and brands your family uses most including baby items such as car seats, toys and food items.
Implement car rules
Sometimes all it takes to maintain a sense of serenity while driving with kids is to have basic car rules. They can be as simple as no yelling, standing or removing seatbelts. Always have consequences when rules are broken to ensure your child understands the seriousness of car safety.
Teen driving contract
One day your “little one” will be a “big one,” driving a vehicle faster than you know it. When the time comes and your teen is ready to take on the responsibility of driving, make sure to have a teen driving contract in place. Click here for a FREE parent-teen driving contract.
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