A family adventure on the open road can be a great way to create happy memories, but ensuring everyone’s safety is extremely important, so an accident or injury doesn’t spoil the fun.
Some things should go without saying, like never leaving a child alone in the car, much less a hot one, and always using age and size-appropriate car seats. However, it might be difficult to choose the right child-safety seats among the many available products on the market, and perhaps harder to install and use them properly.
According to a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the installation of 95% of car seats is incorrect, and 86% of the time, newborns are in the car seat the wrong way. An incorrect recline can make injury more likely. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, state car seat regulations are often not stringent enough, and the AAP guidelines provide a higher level of safety.
The AAP suggests that once a child has outgrown their car seats, they should still ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old. Children younger than that are vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries from airbag deployment.
Late-model vehicles come with various other child safety features, such as child-proof locks and rear seatbelt alarms that alert you if they disengage. Most also have automatic door locks that engage when the vehicle starts moving and side-impact airbags.
Keeping children safe while on the road must be a priority. The auto industry and car seat manufacturers continue to improve safety features. Add to that a dose of common sense, such as not allowing children to ride in the open back of a pickup truck, and family adventures can be safe and memorable.