Did You Know?
- Children ages 2 to 5 who use safety belts prematurely are four times more likely to suffer a serious head injury in a crash than those in child safety seats or booster seats.
- Of those children ages 8 and under who died in vehicle crashes in 2011, 29 percent were unrestrained.
- Children should ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
- Each year, more than 9,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for injuries that occurred while they were unattended in or around motor vehicles.
Safe Kids works to address child safety in and around vehicles, from a baby’s first child restraint to the time he or she is behind the wheel. It is all part of the Safe Kids Buckle Up program.
Here are programs that focus on four important areas for protecting kids:
Child Passenger Safety
Making sure our children are transported safely in vehicles is very important. In 2011, 3,331 children dies in in motor vehicle crashes. Child Safety Seats play an important part in reducing injuries in vehicle crashes.
Here are some important safety tips
- Choose the right seat. Make sure your child fits in the seat and is the correct height, weight and age for the seat.
- For the best protection, keep your baby in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible – usually until about 2 years old. Kids who ride in rear-facing seats have the maximum protection for the head, neck and spine.
- Check the label. Child safety seats do have expiration dates. The label will also tell you the height and weight limits of the seat.
- Make sure the child safety seat is installed correctly. Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check your car seat.
There are certified technicians available to teach families how to use and install their child restraints.
Heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash, vehicle-related deaths for children under the age of 14. To help prevent tragic and unnecessary deaths due to heatstroke, Safe Kids and the General Motors Foundation created an awareness campaign called Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car.
Here are some important safety tips:
- Never leave your child alone in a car – not even for a minute
- Put your cell phone or briefcase in the back seat. That will help remind you to check the back seat before you leave the vehicle.
- Always lock your door to prevent children from getting into your vehicle unattended.
- Never allow children to use your car to play in.
To learn more about this vehicular heatstroke prevention, please click here.
Frontovers and Backovers
We work to educate the public on parking lot and driveway injuries known as “frontovers” and “backovers.” In an effort to raise awareness about these tragedies, Safe Kids created a program called Spot the Tot.
Here are some important safety tips:
- Before you drive away, take a few seconds to walk all the way around your parked car to check for children.
- Work with your kids to pick up toys, bikes, chalk or any type of equipment around the driveway so that these items don’t entice kids to play.
- Identify and use safe play areas for children, away from parked or moving vehicles. Consider making your driveway a toy-free zone
- Accompany little kids when they get in and out of a vehicle. Hold their hands while walking near moving vehicles or in driveways and parking lots or on sidewalks.
Countdown2Drive. Safe Kids Worldwide has developed an education program for preteens and teens before they drive. Our program was designed to teach preteens and young teens about safe driving before they start to drive.
This program will:
- Help parents, preteens and teens talk about safe driving.
- Establish an agreed upon set of rules.
- Review what it means to be a safe driver and a safe passenger.
- Educate teens early so they will be safer drivers later.
To learn more about this program, click on this link: Countdown2drive