Safety first should be every family’s mantra when traveling. This is whether they have small or big kids to bring along during their trip.
Many families travel on the road all year round and if you’re one of them, make it a point to check everything including seatbelts before you leave and during your trip. This way, you avoid accidents and injuries among your loved ones.
The seatbelt is a very important safety tool in the car. The standard one found in the vehicle is meant for adults hence, parents must ensure they use the proper child restraint appropriate for their kids’ age.
Babies must be put in a baby capsule and they must be fastened first. Toddlers up to three years old should be in a car seat and if you’re placing them in the front seat, they need to be positioned facing backwards. This is the safest position recommended by the experts.
Also, the front passenger seat needs to be moved back with a distance of at least 10 inches from the dashboard. An important reminder as well is to switch off the air bag on the side. If it’s not possible to switch it off, you need to put the child seat in the back part of the car.
Another option for babies is to place them in a fastened carrycot. This can be fastened using a special belt or with the standard three-point seat belt.
For bigger kids, the booster seat is most ideal to use. Parents will have to use this until their kids are between 8 and 12 years old or until they reach the height of 4 feet 9 inches and weight of 80 to 100 pounds.
The best way to know if your child can use the regular seatbelt is to do a safety belt fit test. Signs that they are ready to use the adult safety belt are when their knees can bend at the seat’s edge, the lap belt stays low on the hips, the shoulder belt rests on the collarbone and shoulder and the child can sit in the correct position with the seatbelt on.
Kids must be constantly reminded to use the seatbelt every time they ride a car whether in your family car or in other people’s vehicle. Setting an example as a parent is the most effective way to show them the importance of these safety belts. When they see you doing this automatically when in the car, they will get the cue and won’t complain when told to buckle up.
In any case that your child takes off the belt while you’re on the road, be sure to stop and put it back on.
Following these simple and easy steps will let you and your family enjoy a peaceful and worry-free road trip to your destination. If you plan to rent a car during your travel, you can find out more here.
Photo via adventuredad
About the guest author:
Tam is a mother of two girls who loves traveling out of town with the whole family.
Originally posted on March 11, 2013 @ 5:01 am