Young children need proper guidance, security and attention to keep them safe while driving. Car safety must not be taken for granted. Wearing seatbelts, using the right car seat, and strapping up your kids properly can make the difference between life and death if an accident occurs. Always strive to ensure that your children are safe any time you drive.
Use a Rear-facing Car Seat Till a Child is 2 years
Be patient enough to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until he or she is over 24 months old. Studies have shown that, contrary to the advice provided by some car seat experts, a child is more likely to be critically injured, or even die if a crash occurs while they are placed in a front-facing seat. A rear-facing seat will offer better support to the immature spine of your child because it spreads the effect of any collision all over the body.
Place Your Car Seat in the Centre of the Backseat
The safest position for you to place your child’s car seat is in the middle of the back seat. Bear this in mind anytime you are in a hurry and you want to place your child close to the window. If a crash occurs, a child in the centre of the back seat is less likely to be injured than one placed next to the window. If you need to use two car seats, try placing them next to each other in the centre.
Use the Latch System to Hold the Car Seat
Most vehicles manufactured after 2002 have a special latch system that makes the installation of car seats safer and faster. It does not rely on seat belts. Instead, it attaches the car seat directly to the car. If you want a safer and tighter attachment, the latch system is your best alternative. With this system, your child’s car seat will not move more than an inch in any direction if a collision occurs.
Add a Booster Seat for Older Children
A booster seat lifts your child up so the seat belt fits securely around them. If you don’t use a booster, your child could slip out from the seat belt because it is not fixed securely. When should you start using a booster seat? As soon as your kids attain the weight of 18kg, you can use a booster seat. You should continue to use the seat until the weight goes beyond 36kg and they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches.
Put All Luggage in the Trunk
Leaving items you bought at the grocery store, or the luggage you are taking on your trip, inside the car can increase the possibility of injury during a crash. Most times, during a crash, the luggage in your car will hit your child. Remember that the items in your car will move at the same speed as your car. So a small can of baked beans could become a very dangerous object if it is travelling at 60 km/h.
Safety should always be a top priority when you are considering driving with children. Always ensure that the car seat, latch system, and seat belts are in order before you take off. Safety should also be a major factor anytime you need to replace your car. Whether you are buying a second hand car or a new one, ensure that it has adequate provision for the safety of your kids.
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