Life with kids can get pretty hectic – especially young ones! Just getting out and about can be challenging as there are so many things you need to take into consideration. Do you need a stroller, did you bring a toy to play with, do you have snacks packed, etc. And that’s just for your child! You still need to remember all of your own personal items: wallet, car keys, cell phone…the list goes on and on. Some days, by the time you get to your car, you’re already distracted – especially if you’re in a hurry or running late. But this is the time that you need to be the most vigilant regarding your children and car safety. Keep your little passengers protected by following these car safety tips for children:
When selecting a car seat – make sure that it is age, height, and weight appropriate. Depending on their age, you will need to determine the positioning as well – infants/toddlers should be in rear-facing seats whereas older children should be in front-facing ones. If you purchase new, always check to see if there has been any recall. If you are planning on using a pre-owned seat, make sure it came from a trusted friend or relative. Avoid buying car seats from an unknown source (garage sale, internet purchase) because you won’t be able to verify that it hasn’t been in a prior accident.
Be on Lock Down
Make use of the child proof features in your car including window and door locks. Don’t give your child a chance to open a door while driving or get anything caught in the window (including themselves). Always keep the car locked when not in use and keep keys and fobs out of reach. The last thing you want is for your child to climb into the vehicle unattended and get trapped inside. If your child somehow manages to get locked inside, call 911 immediately.
Teach Your Children Well
Talk to your kids about driveway and parking lot safety. If possible, avoid using the driveway as a place to play. Remove any toys or items that might attract them to that space. Make a point to check around and under your vehicle before you enter (to make sure that no one is hiding near the car). Don’t forget to keep everyone away from the car and in sight before you drive off.
The same goes for parking lots. Check around your car before you leave the lot. Always accompany your child while exiting and entering the vehicle and escort them by hand through the parking lot. Keep in mind that your child should always be visible to other drivers and teach them to stay away from moving vehicles.
Never Leave Unattended
Never, ever leave your child alone and unattended in a car! The internal temperature of a car can get really high (even with the windows open) and is extremely dangerous. As we mentioned, life can get hectic and we can all get distracted. Figure out a personal reminder to check the backseat -whether it’s leaving something you need (cell phone or wallet) next to the car seat or always placing a teddy bear or stuffed animal in the empty seat (when you remove your child) as a reminder.
It’s also best to establish a plan with the school or day care staff to notify you if your child is late to be dropped off. Creating a routine reminder system for taking your child out of the car will ensure their safety and keep you grounded.
Summary of Massachusetts Car Safety Tips for Children
You can never be too safe when it comes to protecting your children. That’s why it’s so important to take precautions to ensure that your little passengers are protected from any vehicle dangers. We hope these car safety tips for children help your family stay safe and healthy.