Car accidents are the leading cause of death for kids ages one to 13, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Parents can prevent these deaths by consistently using proper safety restraints.
To increase awareness and reduce traffic accident deaths amongst children, the U.S. Department of Labor and the NHTSA have created a national initiative, Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from September 13 through 19.
Car Safety Tips for Parents
Child Passenger Safety Week is an excellent time to do a check on your child’s restraints. To reduce your child’s risk of injury and death if ever an accident occurs, try these following tips.
- Make sure you are using the appropriate type of seat for your child’s age and weight. Children under one should use a rear-facing seat, and older children can use a forward-facing seat. Once the child outgrows the manufacturers’ weight limits, a booster seat is recommended. A child should not be allowed to use seat belt until s/he is big enough to properly wear it (with the chest strap on the chest, not behind the back or across the neck).
- Follow manufacturer directions.
- Check the NHTSA safercar.gov to see if there have been any complaints or recalls for your child’s seat.
- Inspect your child’s restraint to ensure it’s in good repair. If it’s frayed or cracked, purchase a new one.
Free Resources to Spread the Word
As part of Child Passenger Safety Week, the DOT/NHTSA have an online toolkit with a ton of free useful items to generate awareness about child car safety in your community.
Some of the items you can download include the following.
- Flyers to print and hand out, or post online
- Child car seat installation videos
- Banners and icons for your website
- Three eye-catching detailed infographics
- A 67-page Ebook, A Parent's Guide To Playing It Safe With Kids And Cars
- A dozen posters
- Television ads and public service announcements (PSAs)
- Tips for how to get PSAs placed and digital outreach pitch materials
Also, you can order customizable outreach materials in Spanish or English from the NHTSA and the Ad Council Child Car Safety online merchandise site.
Additional Child Safety Information
We have some materials on our Max Meyers Law website that may be useful for you, as well. In addition to our bicycle and pedestrian accident blog and video library, you might want to check out the following blogs: Protect Your Child From Seattle Drivers by Buying the Right Car Seat and 4 Facts Parents Should Know about Car Safety for Kids.