When it comes to cargo, kids are the most precious kind. Every day, parents take special precautions to ensure their safety. But even still, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 13 – which is why our experts have identified four easy ways to help keep kids safe in the car.
- Consider the safest cars for families. So you don’t have to, the S. News & World Report studied 129 new cars, SUVs and minivans. According to their methodology, they looked at professional automotive reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume, and the availability of family-friendly features. The winners were as follows: Acura RDX, Audi Q7, BMW 5 Series, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Edge and Expedition, Honda Accord and Odyssey, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, Subaru Forester and Toyota Avalon. All of the above have strong crash test scores and accident avoidance technology, along with a slew of safety features.
- Learn how to choose (and use) a car seat. Throughout their lives, kids will sit in four kinds of car seats: rear-facing, forward-facing, a booster seat and a car seat using a seat belt. Obviously, babies start in a rear-facing infant car seat, but they’ll likely outgrow that by the time they turn 9 months old. When that happens, experts at NHTSA recommend purchasing a convertible or all-in-one car seat and using it rear-facing. Then, as the child grows, the seat will continue to accommodate them. To find the right car seat for your child, consider their age, height and weight. For your convenience, you can use NHTSA’s Car Seat Finder tool. Or, if you’ve already secured your seat, settle in for a few of our car seat safety tips.
- DON’T drive distracted. Believe it or not, parents are knowingly driving distracted – with their kids in the car. A 2018 study showed that 50% of parents talk on a cell phone, one-third read text messages and one in seven use social media. To avoid any temptation, we recommend reading our tips to steer clear of distracted driving. However, there are also things you can do to keep your child from being a distraction. For road trips (short or substantial), put everything they may need within arm’s reach. And if they’re older, you can keep them entertained with our printable road trip games.
- Look before you lock. Since 1998, 798 children have died due to vehicular heatstroke. Even in cooler weather, the temperature inside of a car can rise almost instantaneously. In fact, according to NHTSA, it can go up 20°F in just 10 minutes. So, to make sure your child is never left unattended, remember to look before you lock. Make it a habit to look at every single seat ensuring they’re all empty before you walk away. Want even more information? Find out how much you know about preventing child heatstroke.
Our final piece of advice? Always be prepared. In case of emergency, read our blog post: 14 things you should keep in your car.