The statistics are sobering, road accidents account for a bigger percentage of child mortalities. Adults have higher chances of survival when the tragedy happens than children. It is up to the parent then to take stringent measures to ensure the kids are safe during trips made in the family car. Here are child car safety tips for parents to ensure the risk of accidents, injuries and fatalities is reduced.
Child Car Seat Safety Tips for Parents
Install the car seat properly
Usually many car seats are not installed properly and performing a quick check before you hit the road is a no brainer. A properly installed car seat is restricted of movement. Make sure the seatbelt fits snugly and there is no excess strap work. Child safety seats should be harnessed with the car’s seatbelt or lower attachments. Ensure you place your child in the right angle so that they don’t flop sideways. You can use supports such as rolled up diapers or towels on each side of the shoulder to keep them straight in the seat.
Repair and replace broken car seats
A broken seat is not safe for your child to ride in. Replace seats whose parts are not functioning properly, the worn and those that cannot be steady harnessed. Not all car seats are fit for your car so look an appropriate height and weight when buying a new one. In light of this it is always advisable to try and the sit before sealing the deal.
Child safety seats can greatly reduce the risk harm for children and toddlers when riding in your car. Children under the age of two should be prepped in a rear facing child seat. This way they get the best protection for the head, neck and back. The children should ride in the back. At ages past 2 years they will ride safely in a forward facing seat but still at the back. The seat belt should be fastened and locked with the top tether or the lower attachments. When they outgrow the limit set by manufacturers is when you can stop the use of top tether and lower attachments on their seats. Always ensure the seat is appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height as shown in the label.
• Babies below 12 years
These kids are safest in the back seat of your car in a rear facing baby seat. If they travel in the front seat the air bags must be turned off. When they exceed 15 kg they can move to forward facing Group 1 seats.
• Kids from age 12
They can move to the booster seat. Move your child to the booster seat when their eye-line is above the child seat back. A high back booster is the safest option.
Be wary of old seats
Do not buy seats that older than 6 years or those that have been through a crash. You cannot the structural integrity of such seats and to be on the safe side get new seats with all parts present and functioning correctly. Avoid seats that come with no manufacturer date and user manual, avoid all those with signs of wear or tear.
Sometimes it is just impossible to tell by looking whether a second hand has been damaged in an accident or dropped. Second hand car seats aren’t just safe for you and for your baby, avoid them altogether.
Underage kids sit at the back
All children below the age of 13 years should always ride at the back. At the back they are out of harm’s way when the air bags deploy.
Fasten your seatbelt
Children mimic adults’ actions and when you strap on your seatbelt they will too. The idea is to set a good example with every single ride you make. As for your children never buckle the, up in one seatbelt.
Don’t leave your child alone in the car
Children have a growing and experimental mind and they may set about trying things like starting the car. Also temperature may rise and cause a heat stroke to your child. Always keep your car keys safe so that your child does not take hold of it and get into danger.
Keep them calm
Ensure your child is always calm and with less movements in the back seat. This saves the driver distractions that could lead to fatal accidents. Child seats are not a panacea to all child safety issues, good mannerisms can help a great deal. Let your children show restraint during the car ride. On the same note of mannerisms, teach your child that rules font change even when they are riding with aunties, uncles, grannies or friends. Teach them that if they are offered the front seat they should politely decline and take the back one. Instruct to your childminder to always place the child in their seat properly on every ride.
Your child can only move to adult seats and use seatbelts after they attain the age of 12. For younger kids who exceed 135 cm they should continue to use the booster seat if the adult seat belt lies on their tummy or neck rather the hips, chest and shoulders.
Be careful when reversing
Carefully use the rear view mirror or camera system to enable you to see clearly what is behind you when reversing out of the garage. This way you won’t mistakenly hut a child who is on the floor. Camera systems are much better at revealing things you would otherwise miss on the mirrors and from windows. There are many camera systems that will provide a practical solution to visibility challenges while backing up your car. Alternatively just get out of the car and go all the way round to ensure your kid is not somewhere near your car before reversing.
Child car safety starts with parents. It starts by you getting the right child seats, fitting them properly in their seats, and most importantly ensuring that they understand the meaning of all that.
Child safety is paramount, regardless of where they are, and in particular whenever one is driving. Practicing certain safety tips can mean the difference between life and death.