As a parent, your main job is to keep your kids safe. And while there are plenty of things you can do within the walls of your own home to eliminate risks and protect your little ones, once you step foot in your car, there are so many other variables that you really don’t have any control over and could cause you to get in a car accident. Although you might be a safe, defensive, reliable driver, you can’t guarantee that those are you are the same way. Because of this, it’s crucial that you take the necessary steps to protect your kids the best ways you can. To help with this, here are three things you can do to keep your children safe when riding in the car.
Use The Right Car Seat or Booster Seat
Depending on the size of your child, there’s likely some type of car seat or booster seat that he or she should be using. In fact, according to Julie Kenneally, a contributor to SafeKids.org, children should be using a car seat or a booster seat until they’re at least 57 inches, or 4 feet 9 inches, tall. Only when your child is taller than 57 inches should he or she be allowed to sit in a seat in the car without a booster. This is because children smaller than this can’t safely use a seat belt and have it adequately protect them in the event of a car accident. So if you have a child who feels they’re too old for a booster seat but isn’t tall enough to ride without one yet, put your foot down about keeping him or her safe in the car.
Keep An Eye On The Temperature
Another thing you should be aware of when having your kids in the car is the temperature. While this likely won’t cause your vehicle to get in a car accident, having your children in the car when it’s at an unsafe temperature could be life-threatening to them. According to Emily Green, a contributor to WorkingMother.com, a car can heat up by about 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. So if you live in a place that gets very cold or moderately hot, make sure the car is a comfortable temperature before you put your kids in and that you never leave your kids in the car.
Strap Down Any Loose Items
In the event that you do get in a car accident, you’re going to want to be sure that you’ve strapped down any loose items. According to Michelle Naranjo, a contributor to Consumer Reports, loose items in a car turn into projectiles when the car’s in an accident. And if you have kids in the backseat with a bunch of stuff strew all about, that stuff could cause some serious damage to your children.
To help keep your family safe when in the car, consider implementing some of the tips mentioned above the next time you hit the road together.