Child Passenger Safety (cont.)
Ten Tips for Safer Travel
- Set a good example for child passengers. Buckle your own safety belt and insist that all other passengers secure themselves properly before you go anywhere.
- Properly install your child safety seat. This is not always as easy as it sounds. Review the manufacturer's instructions and your vehicle owner's manual. Call your highway safety office or local police traffic safety officer to locate the closest child safety seat checkpoint (866-732-8243). Take the time to have your child safety seat installation inspected by a qualified person to be certain that it is properly installed and will do what it is designed to do. Many child safety seats are not properly installed. Be certain that your child's seat is properly installed!
- Properly secure your child into the safety seat. This also is not always as easy as it sounds. Changes in the bulk of clothing make it necessary to reassess for proper fit of harnesses.
- Never allow children to put a shoulder harness behind their backs or under their arms. This can increase the risk of ejection from the restraint or injury to internal organs.
- NHTSA does not recommend accessories designed to make safety belts fit older children because no federal safety standards have been developed for their manufacture or use.
- For children ages 4-8 years and 40-80 pounds, booster seats help seat belts fit properly. Booster seats must be used with lap and shoulder harness safety belts.
- Air bags and kids don't mix. Children always should be in the back seat. Never put a rear-facing infant seat in the front seat of a vehicle that has a passenger air bag.
- Talk to your preteen and teenage children about buckling up and about drunken driving. Tell them to never get in a car with someone who has been drinking. Promise them that if they call home instead, you will come get them, no matter what, and that you won't be angry.
- Use your vehicle's child safety locks to prevent children from opening car doors while the vehicle is moving.
- Kids are not cargo. Never transport children in the cargo area of a truck, even if it has a cover. This includes sports utility vehicles or station wagons without proper passenger restraints.
Adults everywhere share the responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their children. Placing children in specially designed child restraints helps to give children the safety and protection they need.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2014