Parents and/or drivers must make sure that kids are well protected in case there is an accident. Car restrains work in two ways. They make sure that children cannot move around the automobile while it is in motion. And they make sure that they are protected from injuries as much as possible in case of a crash.
Driving always requires care and attention to avoid causing accidents that will injure yourself and others. Certain rules must be followed when you have passengers. Adult passengers can distract you by constantly talking to and criticizing. Babies may seek attention and get rowdy when they are traveling in a vehicle. Here are some guidelines to ensure enjoyable journey.
Things to Know about Driving with Kids
Safety should be the first thing in mind when you start the engine. This is extra important when you are transporting infants. Don’t forget that you are morally and legally responsible for them as a parent (babysitter or family member) and driver. Here are a few things you should know.
Child Seats Save Lives: Traffic related accidents are the #1 killer of school aged kids and not far behind for other ages. Researches show that children’s crash survival chances are almost doubled if they are in a properly installed/used protective boosters. Unfortunately, surveys and checks show that more than 70% of car seats aren’t installed or used correctly. This is a very important issue that deserves careful attention.
Follow Child Safety Laws: Every state has laws that must be followed. It is up to parents or legal guardians to make sure cars are equipped to carry them according to age and size. Motorists can be fined or taken to court if they fail to observe these laws. These rules usually go well beyond and include things like leaving them unattended in the vehicles.
Never Get Distracted: You shouldn’t be occupied with other things like cell phones, eating, drinking or feeding. You should also consider their comfort to make sure that they will have a pleasant journey and bother you as little as possible.
Teach Kids: Make sure that they understand the importance of sitting in their places. They should also enjoy the journey. Find ways to keep them happy and deal with tantrums.
Resources to Help Kids Get Used to Them
Know How to Use Car Seats
Laws require use of appropriate safety seats because they protect. The age and size are key to choosing the right one. You should also make sure that they are fitted to automobiles correctly. You should check fitting instructions and auto manuals to make sure they are secured correctly. Here are a few basic rules to fitting them in vehicles.
- They should be installed in the back no matter what type it is. Most modern automobiles come with elaborate front and side airbags for the front that can hurt them in collisions. If you want to put babies in the front passenger side you must make sure that you don’t have side airbags and it is pushed back as far as possible. You may be able to consult an installation clinic at your local hospital or fire department for further advises and assistance.
- Baby chair should always face towards the back of the vehicle. Rear-facing protect a baby’s fragile neck and head in case of a crash.
- Always make sure that restrains are fitted properly first on the automobile. Then, make sure that all the clips are done properly. The harness straps should fit snugly but not too tight. When they are loose they cannot function effectively and children may wiggle out of them. Consider the clothing when you are tightening them as puffy clothes may prevent you from judging tightness properly.
- They need to ride on them until they are about 13 years old or 4’ 9” tall. Until then you will need to adjust it or use booster with regular belts.
- Usually, they get less protective as you go to the next one up. Therefore, you should try to keep them in the most protective booster as long as you can and don’t rush to get the next one up. Especially, you should try to keep the babies in the “rear-facing infant carriers” as long as possible.
Car Safety Seat Resources
Fitting and Inspection
Types of Car Safety Seats:
Rear-facing infant carrier: Infants must have proper head and neck support. Usually they are used for infants up to age 2, or until they reach the weight or height allowed by manufacturers, usually 22 to 35 pounds.
Convertible Ones: These face either backward or forward and are for toddlers between ages 2 and 4, and for those who weigh between 30 and 40 pounds and who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit.
Boosters: Kids who have outgrown convertible seats but aren’t tall enough to use belts alone should be supported with a booster. They are usually transitional. They are for usually between 8 and 12 year olds, who are shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches. Adult belts aren’t designed to provide enough restrain. If a booster isn’t used, youngsters may suffer injuries to the intestines, spleen, liver, and spinal cord in a crash.
Combination (three-in-one): These can be used with an internal harness until a child weighs 40 pounds (some allow harness use to 50 pounds) and then made into a booster by removing the internal harness.
Lap and shoulder belts: Ages 8 and older or who weigh more than 80 pounds and are about 4 feet, 9 inches tall should use these. The lap belt should stay low and snug across the hips without riding up over the stomach, and the shoulder belt shouldn’t cross at the neck.
Other Tips and Rules
Drivers are responsible for the well being of passengers regardless of age. But this responsibility is heightened when you are dealing with minors. However, you should take charge and set rules instead of going with the flow. Here are some of the rules and tips to implement:
- Belts and safety seats save lives there is no doubt about it. Buckling up is very important for an adult but it is crucially important for a child. Their delicate bodies would suffer serious injuries if they weren’t properly buckled. They can reduce injuries and death by as much as seventy percent.
- They should always sit at the back. They should know that it is dangerous for them to be sitting at the front. They should know this is not something that is open for negotiations.
- They should never play with their seat belts. It is important that they are secured properly and remain the same throughout the journey. If you don’t watch out they could easily wiggle out of it.
- Never take a kid for a ride without it even for a short time.
- Stay in control and don’t get distracted by a crying baby. Don’t try to multi-task. Stop if you have to and deal with the issues then.
- You must always buckle up yourself and set a good example.
- Remember that they have a better chance of surviving an accident if they are properly buckled up. They may be complaining about it but you shouldn’t give in as it is all for their safety.
- Always make sure that kids’ car seats are up to standards. It is one thing you shouldn’t try to get it cheap. Also, it should be the right one for the age and size.
- Getting caught driving while there is an unrestrained child in the vehicle can put you in serious trouble with the law. Not only you may be fined but also may be charged with endangerment.
- It may seem to be a good idea to take them out for a moment to comfort while the auto is still moving. Quite a few mothers do this. However, you should always stop first to take the baby out and place it back before you are on the road again.