Car Safety – Safety In The Vehicle For Children

The most precious cargos we have in our cars are kids, whether they are ours or a friend’s. However, some drivers may think that they are keeping children safe when in fact they are not. To prove this point, researches have been done and they show that one of the leading causes of death in children is motor vehicle crashes. This is in part due to the large number of drivers that do not know how to use child seats and seatbelts properly. Because we should be responsible drivers, we should learn how to keep kids safe every time they ride in our vehicles. They should be properly harnessed each time.

For younger children, the two choices we have to keep them protected are rear facing seats and forward facing toddler seats. Rear facing seats are recommended for children from the time of birth until they get to about a year old. Forward facing toddler seats are for children aged one until four. Meanwhile, for children aged four up until eight, parents could choose to have booster seats properly harnessed. All of these seats should be placed at the backseat and never in front. At age eight up to twelve, children should always use safety seatbelts at the back seat.

It is never safe to opt for holding the child since this poses the risk of being ejected from the car in a crash incident. The forces involved in a crash can be too great to be holding a child safely. A person holding a child will not only have to absorb the impact and restrain himself, he also should be thinking of the child ensconced in his arms. For example, a head on collision with a passenger in the front seat holding a baby would be really dangerous, first and foremost to the child. The child may be thrown to the dashboard or the windshield ahead of the person holding him. It is infinitely safer to use car seats and booster seats to restrain children in the vehicle. Always consult the car seat manual for specific instructions on how to install this equipment and follow the guidelines they have to the tee.

Car seat manuals should also be consulted on where to place your child’s seat. Recently, side airbags have been added to the safety features of vehicles and some of the car seats available cannot be placed near them. There are some cases wherein forward facing car seats and booster seats are allowed to be placed in the front seat where there are frontal airbags. This should only be done if really necessary; have the front seat pulled back all the way for more security

Side airbags are not considered to be dangerous and in fact may help keep the child extra safe. However, make sure that the child passengers in your vehicle are seated in the right position or that the car seats and booster seats are installed properly also. Typically, side curtain air bags inflate with less force than front air bags.

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