Families put a lot of mileage on their vehicles, and transporting kids can be a hassle sometimes. If you are the parent, you have a responsibility to take care of the vehicle and the children. Child safety should be one of the most pressing issues a parent should consider. Still, with the appropriate care, you can ensure your kid's safety wherever you go. Indeed, you often have a legal requirement to do so. What are some of the steps you must take to protect your kids in the car?
Getting the Appropriate Restraints
If you have children under a certain age, your state will likely require you to provide a car seat. The exact design might vary based on factors like the child's age, weight and size.
- The youngest children, generally those under age two, often need rear-facing child seats. These provide the highest degree of protection for small babies.
- Toddlers and children under five often need a full-sized car seat. The seat will provide back and neck support, along with a more snug seat to prevent sliding.
- Other children might need a booster seat. It's less protective than a full-sized seat, but still provides insulation for older children who still need a degree of protection.
When you buy a car seat, make sure it is the right size and dimensions for your child's needs. Read the instructions thoroughly to ensure you always install and use the safety seat correctly. Most of the time, children under a certain age must ride in the back seat. They also must wear seat belts and ride in a car seat at all times.
Designing Your Car to Suit Your Needs
Car seats are nothing without a safe vehicle. Many cars are more appropriate for families with children than others. Most parents do comprehensive research on prospective vehicle purchases before buying. Check into your car's safety rating to see if it proves reliable enough to suit your wants and needs for your family.
Once you settle on a vehicle, you can also choose various enhancements to make the vehicle safer. Most vehicles will include standard safety features like:
If your child has special needs, even if they are temporary, you might need other enhancements in the car. Ask your dealer about how to design an accessible vehicle if needed.
- Reversal cameras to alert you to potential hazards behind the vehicle, including children
- Child-safety locks to prevent backseat children from opening the door from the inside
- Emergency alarm systems
Don't forget that standard car maintenance will prevent mishaps and potential safety hazards. Take your vehicle for repairs as necessary.
Carrying Safety Items in Your Car
Even if you have safety technology in your car, there are other ways to protect children in the vehicle. Various accessories and safety practices can come into play here.
- Child-view mirrors can help you keep an eye on children in the back seat.
- Children can benefit from other enhancements like seat belt adjusters or seat protectors. Seat belt locks also exist to help children keep from unlocking the belt. Indeed, they can provide protection for the whole family.
- Sunshades and fans can shield small children from exposure to hot sun. It is easy for small children to become overheated in come cases.
- A recent focus on child hot car deaths in the news has spurned the development of new safety mechanisms. New products have entered the market to help parents remember to remove vulnerable children from vehicles.
- Other small devices such as whistles or alarms might help a child in the back alert a parent to a problem in the front.
- General items like first aid kits or emergency food supplies might help all families. Always keep a few emergency items in the vehicle.
Of course, all the safety devices in the world do not matter if you do not obey the rules of the road. A parent's priority is to pay attention to the road. Safe driving can ensure young children remain safe from start to finish.
Enrolling in The Right Car Insurance
Don't forget that you likely have a requirement in your state to carry car insurance. It will provide critical protection in case you damage your car (or someone else's) in an accident. Even more important, think of insurance as a way to protect your family in case of emergencies.
- Most policies can pay for the medical costs of you and your passengers if you get hurt in a wreck. Ask your agent to include coverage on your policy.
- You can extend coverage to children as they begin to drive. Often, you can add them to your existing policy as additional drivers.
- Think of your insurance as financial assistance. If you can use it to pay for vehicle losses, you'll deal less of a blow to your family's personal security. Therefore, you and your kids will have compensation in case of unexpected accidents.
With the appropriate attention to your child's safety needs, you can make your vehicle safer. That will create a lot fewer problems in the long run.