During November, many organizations will be sharing tips to ensure a safe environment for our children. While much of Child Safety Protection Month messaging promotes safety tips around the home, AskPatty reminds parents to always keep their children safely buckled up while riding in their car. It's especially important because motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths among children ages 14 and under.
As parents, we go to great lengths to ensure the children in our lives are safe. We childproof our homes and install car and booster seats to keep young children safe in our vehicles because we love them. Parents, it is NEVER okay to drive with an unbuckled child!
Do you know when it's safe for a child to use a seatbelt? You might think so, but 9 out of 10 are doing it wrong! Here’s an easy tip: A child needs to be at least 57-inches tall and between 80 and 100 pounds to ride with just a seat belt. "Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts are engineered to offer more protection than ever," said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. "But we found there’s a need to remind parents, and anyone who drives a child, about the importance of using a booster seat until a seat belt alone fits safely."
I recently had a discussion about safe seating with the 8-year-old son of a friend of mine who wanted to be moved up to the front seat. (Sorry Hayden, NHTSA recommends children ride in the back seat at least through age 12!) In 2013, a child under 13 was involved in a crash every 33 seconds. Sadly, many of these deaths and injuries could be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts, so we encourage all parents to keep their kids properly buckled up, not just during National Child Passenger Safety Week, but every time they're in your car.