Busy moms and dads are always looking for ways to fast track the seemingly endless list of daily tasks involved in parenting. We always want to take plenty of time, though, when the safety of our children is at stake- especially in and around automobiles.
There are some basic auto safety tips for parents that can help keep your kids safe around cars. These include:
- Always place children younger than 13 in the backseat
- Using age and size appropriate safety restraints
- Following the instructions in the manuals for both the child restraint and your vehicle
- Select a crash-worthy vehicle
- Never leave children unattended in or around vehicles
Until children are big enough to properly use adult seatbelts, they should be placed in the backseat and in the appropriate safety restraint. Children should start out in a rear-facing restraint then graduate to a forward-facing seat, then to a booster seat. When installing a child safety restraint, always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to see if your car has a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system.
There are many car seat choices available in a variety of prices, styles, and features. Some rear-facing safety restraints can be turned around to face the front when a child is old enough. There are also forward-facing restraints that convert to booster seats for use with seatbelts when the internal harness is removed. Parents can also choose between high back or backless styles when shopping for a booster seat.
So, with all these choices, how do you know which one is right for your child’s stage of development? Rear-facing child restraints are designed for babies and young children. They should never be placed facing forward or in the front seat. For optimum safety, you will want to keep a child facing the rear for as long as possible.
Generally speaking, children ages 2 to 7 can safely use forward-facing safety restraints. Keep your children in these restraints for as long as possible. Some of them have weight restrictions as high as 80 pounds.
When children become too big for child restraints, they are ready for a booster seats. For some children that may not be before age 12. When tweens and teens are ready for car seatbelts alone, it is important to remember to use them properly. Never let children place the shoulder belt under their arm or behind their back. Their backs should be against the seat with knees bent naturally over the seat edge and feet flat on the floor.
Once your children are safely restrained in the car, be aware of other potential dangers. Children can unintentionally operate power windows, trapping fingers or clothing in a closing window.
Never leave your children in a closed car, even when the weather is cool. Temperatures can climb quickly causing heat stroke or death.
To keep other children safe, make sure you have clear view of any nearby children before backing out of your driveway.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers
If your child is injured in a car accident, it is important to speak to an experienced Denver car accident attorney immediately! We can help you obtain the money you need to help your child recover from his or her injuries and put their lives back on track again. Call Denver attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.
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