Safe Travel Tips

We have compiled some must-know safe travel tips here.

Everyone rides buckled up or the vehicle does not go. Make no exceptions for adults or children. If someone unbuckles, stop the vehicle. Being firm and consistent from the start will mean fewer discipline problems as children get older.  All children 12 and under absolutely must ride buckled up in the back seat.

Do not allow a child in a vehicle to have objects such as lollipops or ice cream on a stick. The object can injure the child if the vehicle swerves or hits a bump.

Never take a child out of his or her car seat while the vehicle is moving. If even a low-speed crash occurred, an unrestrained child can be injured. Put sharp or heavy items in the trunk. Anything loose can be deadly in a crash.

General Car Seat Safety Practices:

Always carefully read the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual. If you have any questions about safely transporting your children in your vehicle, call your vehicle manufacturer’s toll-free number. You’ll find it in your owner’s manual. Never use a car seat that was in an accident – it may have sustained hidden damage that could cause it to fail in another emergency.

Many manufacturers recommend that car seats over six years old not be used. The seat may have been damaged in collisions or by extensive use. Parts, labels and instructions may be missing and significant design or labeling changes may have occurred during those years in which the older seat was in use. Always register your car seat so that you can be notified of any safety issues that may arise in the future.

In cold weather, DO NOT dress the child in bulky clothing like snowsuits if the child is riding in a child restraint. Bulky coats/snowsuits make it difficult to properly tighten the harness on the child. If necessary, place a blanket over the harnessed child without interfering with the child restraint harness system.

Rear-Facing Car Seat Safety Practices:

Children weighing 20 pounds or less or under one year of age must ride facing the rear of the car in either an infant restraint or a rear-facing convertible restraint. Many safety advocates and healthcare professionals recommend that children ride rear facing for as long as possible, so check your child restraint height and weight requirements. Forward-Facing Car Seat Safety Practices

Children weighing 40 to 80 pounds and under 57 inches should ride in booster seats that adjust the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts properly. A properly-adjusted lap belt fits low and snug across the child’s hips. A properly-adjusted shoulder belt rests about halfway between the neck and the end of the shoulder. Children in this weight and height range should never ride with just the lap belt as a restraint. Never let your child put the shoulder belt behind their back or arm.

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