Amid the cooling weather and fall colors, September also marks Child Passenger Safety Month. We all understand and value the importance of child safety while traveling, however, here are some useful tips and information for families to follow to help keep our children safe when in the car.
Whether it is a car seat, booster, or seat belt, children grow so quickly, so take a few minutes to check the age, height and weight requirements for whatever device you are using (what may have been perfect a few months ago may no longer be safe for your child).
Key points for child safety that are self-explanatory, but which we sometimes forget:
Trunk entrapment (teach your child that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play, show an older child how to locate and use the emergency trunk release as younger children will not have the strength or ability to open the release bar-cars after 2001 should have an emergency trunk release);
Heat-related injuries (leave a personal item or any visual reminder that your child in the backseat, make “look before you leave” a routine whenever you get out of the car); and
Lead by example (wear your seat-belt at all times).
If you’ve ever wondered whether your car seat fits your child and your vehicle, have your car seat inspected by a nationally-certified child passenger safety technician. Saturday, September 22 is National Seat Check Saturday. Although an appointment is required, there are several “Check Up Events” in Seminole County this September (9/18, 9/19, 9/20, 9/26 and 9/27). For more information go to (www.safekids.org/events/field_coalition/safe-kids-florida/field_coalition/safe-kids-seminole-county).
Although we all know these things, sometimes work-related or personal stresses may distract us from something simple like ensuring our child’s safety in vehicles. Developing a routine for your family to ensure Child Passenger Safety this month will yield a life-long benefit!