Kids and cars can be a potentially dangerous combination. When it comes to driver distraction, apart from chatting on cell phones or texting, bickering kids can be another big distraction any parent will tell you about. Parents will do anything to keep their children safe. Your child is undoubtedly the most important passenger in your car. Always keep safety in mind, whether it’s keeping the kids safe in and around vehicles. It is important to have your child of any age — from infant to adolescent — properly restrained on every trip. Just wearing the seat belt is not enough to provide protection to kids. There are other several things that can make a car more kid-friendly. If you are wondering what else can be done to ensure safety while driving with kids, here are few tips to consider.
Always encourage kids to be seated at the back
The safest place for children 12 and under is the rear seat. If a child has to sit in the front because no other seat is available, it should be moved as far back as possible from the air bag. Also, the child should be put in a child seat. During a frontal collision, air bags prevent drivers and front seat passengers from hitting the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield.
Disable power windows
Kids can get hurt with power windows. They can get strangled by power windows after leaning out or playing with the power window switches. Make sure the child is away from the window. Also the power window switches for the rear have been disabled. Teach your kid not to tinker with window switches.
Wear seat belt
Don’t drive unless all seat belts have been engaged. If your child removes the straps or unclips the buckle, stop the car and buckle up the belt again. Uncomfortable safety belts can also cause a child to fidget. Safety belt clips, which pull the chest strap away from the child’s neck, can make belts much more comfortable. Never drive if the belt is twisted or unbuckled.
Child safety accessories
It is not quite safe to hold a child on your lap. It is also dangerous to put a seat belt around yourself and the child (or around two children). The safest way for children to travel in cars is in a child seat that is suitable for their weight and size. Child restraints and booster seats are more appropriate than seatbelts for children. A properly fitted child restraint keeps the child in their seat, preventing unwarranted mishaps.
Never leave children alone in the vehicle
Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle that has the ignition on or the keys in the ignition is not safe, no matter how short the stop. Unattended children can accidentally cause the vehicle to roll or even drive away. Teach them that the vehicle is not a play thing. Also, vehicles can heat up very quickly in most weather conditions, which can harm the child’s health.
Activate child lock
To reduce the risk of your child flinging the door open while playing in the rear seat; engage the child safety locks, to ensure the rear doors cannot be opened from the inside. Today, majority of vehicles offer this feature. Make sure your child always keep arms, legs and head inside the car when it’s moving or parked on the side of the road.
Make your car child-safe
Make sure your car is child-proof. Remove any heavy or sharp objects like hard cover books, toys or fancy tissue boxes. Store the tool kit in the boot and make sure all the important documents are out of child's reach.
Look around the car
Look behind and around your vehicle before moving it, especially when it is parked in areas where kids might be playing. Walk around and look behind a car before reversing it. It’s safest to hold your child’s hand in car parks just as you would when crossing the road because some careless driver might not have seen the child. Teach your kid to never play in, around or behind any vehicle. Teach children that parked vehicles might move. Let them know that even though they can see the vehicle, the driver might not see them.
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