How to Keep Your Child Safe in the Car
Do you know what kind of car seat your child should be in? Is it properly installed? If your child is a tween or older, are they using a seat belt every time they’re in the car?
Our kids need to be safe when they are in the car with us. Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. That’s a scary stat, isn’t it? For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.
That’s why we want parents and caregivers to know about the importance of making sure their child is safely restrained—whether that’s selecting the right car seat for their child’s age and size, or making sure that older kids (8-14) always buckle their seat belts and sit in the backseat.
As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound. This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs to address these important issues. First is the up to date car seat safety information like the tips found in the fun new video series “The Wide World of Car Seats.”
These videos range from Choosing the Right Car Seat to Children Should Ride in the Back Seat. These videos are great for first time parents who may not be too sure about traveling safely with kids in the car, but they are also great as a refresher course for experienced parents. They would even be great for babysitters, caregivers, or grandparents who may not know the current safety guidelines too!
How to Keep Your Child Safe in the Car by Choosing the Right Seat
The right car seat can make all the difference in a motor vehicle crash. Unfortunately, car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Despite their best intentions, many parents may not realize their child isn’t in the right seat. For example, many parents move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon. To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat and be sure to check your state laws.
How to Talk to Tweens and Teens about Car Safety
But what about older kids? Just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, your child becomes a “tween” and you enter a whole new world.
Let’s face it. It’s not easy to talk to tweens or teens about anything, but when it comes to their safety and life, car safety is pretty important, so it’s not something you want to skip talking about.
Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”
To help with travel safety, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13).
My oldest, while not quite a tween yet, has the height and weight of the average 13 year old, so he doesn’t fit in booster seats anymore. I still make sure that he wears his seat belt, and he would be thrilled to see that Greg from Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul does too.
How do you talk to your kids about car safety and the importance of wearing a seat belt?
For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp. If you have a great tip, join the conversation on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.
This is a social good post written on behalf of the the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)