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Child safety in the car

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Introduction to child safety in the car

Road traffic accidents cause unexpected injury and could also lead to death of children. Children have weak neck and back muscles that require extra support when traveling in a vehicle. Providing a safety seat is the best option one can give to his/her child during traveling. Serious injuries and most of the deaths caused are due to the child’s uncontrolled behavior, though it is a known fact that safety seats would reduce such accidents.1 Starting from the baby’s first journey, back home from the hospital, it becomes the parents’ responsibility to ensure the child’s safety while traveling.

 

Safety Tips for Children When Traveling by Car

Safety tips, which can help parents to take care of their children.

The following are some of the safety tips, which can help parents to take care of their children.

  • Inspect the car from behind and beside before backing out. Check whether the child is buckled to the seat and never share a seat belt.
  • Do not allow children below 12 years of age to sit in the front to protect injuries from air bags.
  • When using car seats, be familiar with laws of that area.
  • Ensure that the car is equipped with driver-controlled windows and door locks.
  • Do not keep glass items, sharp objects or flammable materials near the car seat.
  • Do not leave the children unattended in the car, especially in the sun, which can cause death.
  • Do not leave the child alone in the car, as there are chances of being abducted by car jackers or pedophiles.
  • Care should also be taken during accidental release of brakes or being run over in parking lots.
  • Do not leave a knife or any other weapons under the seat or anywhere in the car, as the child might reach it and cause harm itself.
  • Never allow the child to stick out of the window in a moving car even for fun 
     

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Air Bags

Along with safety belts, the air bags can protect the adults and older kids from injury during collision. However, care should be taken not to allow infants and young children to sit in the front seat, because it may cause injury or death when the air bags open.

 

Importance of Child Safety Seats

Child safety seats are very important in reducing the injuries caused during sudden stops, turns and opening the door of the moving vehicle.2 Misuse or not using seat belts is one of the major risk factors.3 This can cause minor injuries to severe head trauma.3

Misuse of seat belts frequently occurs because parents with lack of knowledge in understanding about the benefits of child safety seats.4 Identifying and educating the less informed people about child safety can reduce such injuries and death.

 

Choosing a Safety Seat

The available safety seats in the market should be technically safe. It is safe to buy a seat, which is rear facing because frontal collision may injure the child’s spine.

There are three basic types of car seats. 

  • Baby car seats—These are rear facing and babies upto 20 lbs can use it.
  • Convertible babies’ seats—These car seats function as both rear facing and forward facing and babies up to 35 lbs can use it.
  • Belt-positioning booster seats—These seats can be used for kids who are atleast 3 years of age. This kind uses the regular in-car shoulder belts to secure the child.

 

Conclusion

More kids are killed or seriously injured in automobile crashes when compared to any other type of incident, but the child can be protected by using some simple safety measures and by following some basic rules.

Providing a child with a safety seat is the best protection, a parent can give to his or her child when traveling by car.
Child safety seats are easy for all parents to use and will definitely reduce the risk of fatal injuries in children.


Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 12, 2011