When thinking about cars we often think about the 16 years of age and older set. Car safety is all about encouraging those drivers not to text and drive, not be distracted and to wear seat belts every time they get in a car. But we often overlook the safety of the passengers, especially the children.
Cars are a big hazard for young people, especially toddlers, and accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Here are some safety tips to keep your children safe near cars.
No Unattended Children
Never leave a child unattended in a car. While I usually never say never, this is one instance this is true. Leaving a child alone in a car can be a deadly choice.
Unattended children, especially those who can get out of their car seats or seat belts, can wreak havoc on a car. Not only can food get spilled and items get ruined, a child can easily put a car into reverse. My cousin did the exact thing as a child. Her mom ran into a house to drop something off and she put the car into drive and drove into the garage. Children watch their parents drive so often, it is almost second nature to make the car go in motion.
Running into a garage is a minimal consequence. The car could easily hit another car or a passerby. Keep your keys out of little one’s reach to ensure no underage joy riding.
Leaving your child unattended in a car also causes other problems. In many states, it will warrant you a ticket. My state, for example, has a law against leaving underage children alone in a vehicle, running or not. Too many children die each year from being left in a car with scorching temperatures. Even a few minutes to run into the store is too long for a young child. In fact, if you see a child left unattended in a car, call your local police station. You might just save a life.
Spot the Tot
My local children’s hospital created a Spot the Tot campaign to encourage drivers to be more aware of children. Accidents of young children being crushed by cars is terrible. It is devastating when family members or friends are behind the wheel. Young children love to play hide and seek. It is easy to hide under a car in the garage or rest under the car’s shadow on a hot day. Avoid running over a young child in those situations by walking around your entire car to double check for children. Cars have a bigger blind spot that expected behind the car. This increases as the car gets bigger. Take extra precaution to ensure the safety of those young ones you love.
Make it a rule for your children to not play under, in or around cars.
Keep your young children safe in or near cars by always being near them and never leaving them unattended.