The Keys To Keeping Kids Safe In Cars
Being a parent or guardian is a huge responsibility, and it doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing, you always have to keep your children's safety in mind, taking action and doing what you can to minimize the risks and help them stay out of harm's way.
This is especially important while driving, as the risks of the road, can be made much worse for children if they aren't wearing belts, secured in appropriate car seats, and driven around by responsible drivers. With this in mind, here are some top tips to bear in mind when driving with kids.
Choose The Right Car Seat
Car seats are the most important item you need to have when it comes to keeping younger children safe in cars. From babies right up to children of 10 years of age, kids need to be secured in car seats for their own safety and protection, but it's so important to choose the right car seat to meet your child's needs and provide them with the very best levels of protection.
Parents and guardians need to be aware of child seat rules and regulations in their home states, as well as choosing the right sized seats for their kids and installing them properly too. Reports show that close to half of all child seats are installed incorrectly, reducing their effectiveness and putting your children at higher risk of injury if an accident occurs.
Make The Most Of Modern Technology
Modern technological advancements can help out with all aspects of life, including keeping kids safe in cars, and there are various modern apps, advanced car seats, and safety devices that can all contribute to improving child safety in vehicles and reducing the risks of accidents occurring. Look for these devices and make the most of them whenever you can.
Do your research and learn more about the options available to you. You can discover products like the Waze navigation app, which can help you get around more easily and remind you that your child is present in the car, as well as specially designed car seats that can alert you if the temperature is getting too hot or cold for your child's comfort or safety.
Set A Good Example
A good way for parents to help kids stay safe in the car is by focusing on their own safety too and setting a good example for kids to follow. Remember to fasten your seatbelt before setting off, for instance, as this will encourage your children to do the same as they get older, and always follow the rules of the road, keeping within speed limits and never driving under the influence.
Not only will this help to keep your kids safe in the short-term, but it also sets great long-term standards for them to live up to. Once kids graduate from car seats and move into regular seats, they'll know the importance of buckling up, and when it comes time for them to start learning to drive, they'll be able to follow your lead.
Distracted driving can be disastrous, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries each and every year, and these days, there are more distractions than ever before, thanks to the prevalence of smartphones and other modern gadgets in our day to day lives. Even your kids might distract you will driving, but it's important to keep your attention on the road around you.
Every time you take your eyes off the road, perhaps to text a friend or change tracks on your music player, you're raising the risks of an accident occurring, making you less likely to spot upcoming hazards, adjust to the conditions around you, and be aware of surrounding drivers and pedestrians. Keeping your eyes on the road is always important, and even more so when driving with kids, whose lives are in your hands.
Never Leave Kids In Cars
In 2018, 53 young lives were lost because they'd been left in hot cars by their parents or guardians. There are also cases where kids left in cars are abducted or inadvertently cause accidents by starting the car or playing around with the pedals and buttons. For these reasons and others, kids should never be left alone in cars or other vehicles without adult supervision.
Even if it doesn't seem like much of a sunny day, there's still a risk of heatstroke when you leave a kid in a car for an extended period of time, and there's always a risk that something could go wrong when young children are left unattended. If you need to stop somewhere and exit the vehicle for any reason at all, bring the children with you.
Choose A Quality Car
Not everyone can afford to pick and choose whichever car they want, but if you're thinking about upgrading to a new vehicle or have the budget to buy a new family car, take your time, read reviews, and focus on the safety features and crash test scores to find a car that can offer the best protection to your little ones.
Think about features like rear-view cameras, that allow you to back out more safely and see if any kids are playing around at the back of your car, as well as effective child locks and driver control over passenger power windows, as this will help you keep your kids safe while driving, preventing them from opening their doors or rolling their windows down if you don't want them to.
It's always wise to follow the rules, focus on the road, and keep your hands on the wheel when driving, but when children are in the vehicle, you have an even greater responsibility. There are more things that can go wrong when driving with children, such as badly-fitted car seats or accidentally leaving them behind when you exit the vehicle, so be sure to bear these tips in mind and keep your little passengers safe whenever you head out on the road.