As everyone should know by now, seatbelts are essential for the safety of drivers and passengers in a car. Still, some people do not buckle up and do not bother to make their children buckle up in some instances. Even though there are seatbelt laws nationwide, some drivers still don’t bother. Make a rule in your family and be consistent with it each time you get into the car with your children. The car does not start until you confirm everyone is properly buckled up. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a rush to get the kids to school in the morning or they are going to be late for a movie, do not allow yourself to turn the key until everyone has confirmed the seat belt is buckled.
Every year children are killed by passenger-side airbags. As a result, there has been a lot of debate about airbag safety and children. The problem with airbags when it comes to kids is the fact that the bags are designed with adult height and weight in mind. Children, being more frail and shorter, tend to hit the bags at a different angle and can be seriously injured or killed. Many children who are too small for the regular seatbelt, put the shoulder harness behind them and this allows their heads to fling forward upon impact and crash into the force of the deploying airbag. For this reason, never allow you child to wear a seatbelt improperly and do not allow children to sit in a seat with an airbag in front of them.
The easiest way to avoid airbag injuries for children in the car is to have them sit in the rear seat. While your child may prefer sitting up front like an adult, remember that you are the adult and must enforce this rule as if her life depended on it – because it could. All children under 12 years old are safer in the back seat.
Car seat laws vary by state, but many require seats for all children who are less than 80 pounds and under 4 feet, 9 inches tall. What type of car seat you use and where it should be positioned is determined by the age and size of your child. Infants should be in the rear seat in a rear-facing car seat. This rule applies until their first birthday and they attain a weight of 20 pounds. Until they are 40 pounds, the child should sit in a forward-facing car seat. Most states require a booster seat from 40 pounds to 80 pounds or until the normal seatbelts fit properly across the shoulder, not directly under the neck or chin.