Parents can never be too careful when it comes to driving with child passengers, whether it’s a ten-minute ride to school or a long-distance road trip. Use the following five tips to keep your kids protected while you’re on the road.
1. BUCKLE UP
This is the most obvious and most ignored safety tip. Nearly 40% of drivers who don’t buckle their seat belts were not required to buckle up as children. If you want your kids to be safe during their childhood and adulthood, lead by example and buckle your own seat belt as well as theirs.
2. USE CAR SEATS WHEN APPROPRIATE
• Infants should ride in a rear-facing car seat until about two years of age or until they reach the maximum height or weight limit indicated by the car seat’s manufacturer.
• Children two years or older should ride in forward-facing car seats equipped with a harness until they reach the maximum height or weight limit indicated by the car seat’s manufacturer
• Children ages 4 – 12 that are too large for a forward-facing car seat should sit in a booster seat until their seat belt fits correctly.
• Children ages 13 and up should be old enough to use a regular seat belt.
3. CHILD SAFETY MIRRORS
A child safety mirror can be attached to your rear view mirror and allows you to see your children without having to take your eyes off the road. When your children realize that this mirror is providing you with constant surveillance, they’ll be less likely to behave in ways that might distract you from driving or endanger themselves.
Sitting still in a car for long periods of time can be particularly taxing for children. If they’re bored, they’re more likely to try to find ways to entertain themselves, which may lead to all sorts of trouble. Provide your kids with books, games, puzzles, video games, and other items that will keep them still and occupied. If you don’t already have a DVD player in your car, you may want to consider getting one.
5. FREQUENT BREAKS
If you know you’re going to be driving for several hours, find places to stop, such as parks and restaurants, so your kids can run around and play. The more opportunities they have to use up some energy, the more docile they’ll be when they’re back in the car.
Jennie is a blogger and car enthusiast. For the best in affordable and quality tires, visit http://www.tireteam.com/. She recommends edmunds.com for car reviews, tips and advice and more car related news.