While plenty of parents are almost militant in their approach to vehicle safety, others tend to be a little more lax about ensuring their child's well-being while in a car. We aren't saying you should wrap them up in a million blankets, secure their seat belt so tightly they can barely breathe, or ban them from eating anything while traveling but there are a few ground rules everyone should follow for a pleasant, stress-free journey.
Secure That Seatbelt--
It doesn't matter if you're driving five minutes down the road to a friends house or if you're still on the driveway when you start to move off. Whenever your kids are in the car they need to have their seatbelt fastened, not only is this the law but if an accident was to happen the seat belt restrains your child, stopping them hurtling forwards or falling onto the floor should you need to break suddenly. You should always check your kid has their seat belt on correctly. Some children have a habit of moving the shoulder strap, if it's hurting their neck, down towards their waist so make sure they're comfy before you drive away.
The Back Is Always Best--
Children under twelve should never sit up front as if you were to get into an accident they could be badly injured. Scientific research and road safety investigations have shown that backseat passengers are less likely to be severely hurt. Children, if securely fastened, have much less chance of going through the windshield than they would if they were sat in the front seat. Remember, airbags were also not designed for children they are much bigger than a kid's body, and if a child was to get too close they could easily be hurt or suffocated by the deploying airbag. It can be hard to insist that all children under twelve sit in the back seat especially if you have a few of them traveling but it is the safest place. If having a child in the front seat is unavoidable make sure they are firmly strapped in, have the seat as far back from the windshield as possible and make sure they can’t touch, or press anything near the steering wheel.
Don't Forget Booster Seats--
It's not up to you whether your child has a booster seat or not and the law states that kids up to 4 feet, 9 inches tall (1.4 m) must be placed securely in a child-size car seat. While you can get both front and backward facing car seats, kids tend to like facing forwards as they can see everything and are less likely to get travel sick. Good car seats like the graco contender 65 are fully reversible and come with lots of extra safety features. Children typically reach the height, and weight limits of booster seats between the ages of eight and ten depending on their individual size. Think about what you want your kids to snack on. Yes it'll keep them quiet but you’ll need to choose food carefully because if they start choking you won't immediately be able to get to them.