The most common child injury is car accidents are those which involve road traffic injuries. Over four thousand children die every year from injuries resulting from a preventable car accident, and countless more are injured. Help keep children safe from dangerous car accidents by keeping these tips in mind:
- Use a car seat. Make sure you use a car seat and that you know how to properly install it in your vehicle. Protect vulnerable children by using the appropriate type of seat for their age and size. Generally, the stages are as follows:
From birth to up to 2 years – Use a rear facing car seat buckled in to the backseat.
Two to a minimum of 5 years – Use a forward facing car seat buckled in to the back seat.
Age 5 and up – Use a booster seat from around five years of age until a child is big enough for a seat belt to properly fit and protect them.
- Put kids in the backseat. Children should ride in the backseat even after they outgrow a booster seat. The backseat is safest in the event of an accident, and the safest spot in the car is the middle of the backseat. Children riding in the front seat are at risk of injury or worse from a deployed airbag.
- Always use a seatbelt. Once your child is big enough for a seat belt to fit properly, make sure they are always belted in. Instill good habits by making sure you always buckle up as well.
- Drive safely. Keep your focus on the road and try to minimize distractions. Don’t use technology while you’re driving. Always avoid texting and if you must take a call, go hands free. Obey the speed limit and stick with the flow of traffic. Be mindful of road conditions and plan extra time if you’ll need to drive slowly to accommodate them. If a screaming child needs something, pull over instead of driving while trying to attend to them.
- Don’t forget pedestrians. Children can be injured by vehicles even when they aren’t in one. Make sure your child is away from any roadway, and knows how to safely cross the street. Make sure your child always wears a helmet when riding a bike. It can help protect them in the event of a collision.