Road Rules for Little Passengers
Parents and caregivers at times implement the practice of doing what I say and not what I do. However, when it comes to car safety, it is required that we act as great role models and lead by examples of always wearing our own seatbelt. Young children learn most by watching the grown-ups around them.
Sometimes, we are in a rush, and we may start driving before our children are fully bucked in, but it is strongly recommended that we do not start driving until all seatbelts are buckled. Further, we should never drive while our child’s restraint straps are undone or twisted. If the child removes straps or undoes buckles, stop the car when it is reasonably safe to do so, and strap or buckles again.
Few additional safety tips offered by Raising Children are:
- Restrain any pets traveling with you. You can buy pet harnesses that you can secure with a seatbelt or luggage tie. This protects not only your pet but also any passengers in the car.
- When traveling with an empty booster seat in the car, fasten the seatbelt around it to prevent the booster seat from injuring someone in the case of a car crash.
- Activate childproof door locks so your child can’t get out when the car is moving or standing still. These locks are usually inside most car doors. Check your car’s manual.
- Ensure your child always keeps arms, legs, and head inside the car when it’s moving or parked on the side of the road.
- The back row of seats is the safest place in the car – you should seat your child in the back row whenever possible. If you must seat your child in the front seat, adjust the front seat as far back as possible to protect your child from injury if airbags are activated. You should never disable or remove a car’s airbags.
- Keep loose items in the glove box or the boot or behind the cargo barrier in station wagons and four-wheel drives. Loose items can fly about in a crash and increase the risk of injury.
- Always get your child in and out of the car on the curbside, away from traffic.
In summary, we all know most of the car guidelines related to the car, but there are a few nuggets that may help you and your children with planned and unplanned traveling experiences.