Cars and Kids
There are so many tragic stories involving kids and cars, ranging from being left in the heat to being hurt in the driveway. Cars are a wonderful convenience, but they also must be treated with respect when it comes to safety, most importantly when it comes to our children. Caution should be observed at all times when it comes to those who cannot take care of themselves. It is our job as parents, friends, and fellow drivers to use proactive precaution when it comes to our little ones.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but do not leave your kids in the car! Every year, we hear about children dying because of being left in the heat. If you tend to be the absent-minded type, make it a habit to go through a checklist before leaving your car. Mentally go through and make sure you have your keys, turn off the headlights, get your purse or phone, put on the parking brake, and check the backseat for kids. Make it a habit to always look in the back before ever leaving your car. That way, on a day that you may have a child with you when you normally wouldn’t, you will not forget that they are there.
Most certainly, if you ever use the car as a babysitter for your children while you run in for “just a minute,” STOP! It is definitely worth the couple extra minutes it takes to take them with you to avoid a potentially fatal tragedy.
Also, be sure to always lock your car when you park it at home and keep your keys away from your kids. There have been instances where, unbeknownst to the parents, the child has crawled into an unlocked parked car at home and died while in the heat.
Before backing out of your driveway, always walk around your car and look under for any kids (or pets). Fortunately, many cars now have backup cameras; however, these do have areas not seen by the camera, so do not rely solely on them to ensure a clear driveway. Always back up slowly and continue to look for any kids running or riding bikes that may suddenly appear behind you.
As a driver, you must always scour the sidewalks and roadways for children biking or playing. Children are known to quickly dart into the street and not use as much caution as they should. It is your duty to stay alert and to drive slowly and with caution any time there are children nearby. When entering a neighborhood, you should slow down and drive assuming there will be children playing. Especially in Northern Virginia where many of our communities have lots of houses but small yards, streets are often the only place children have to play.
Securing your children properly while riding in your car is not something to be skipped or ignored. Talk to your pediatrician about the proper car seat for your child, how to properly secure them, and when to graduate them to a booster seat. Follow your car seat manufacturer guidelines for age/weight specifications and register for notifications of potential recalls of your car seat model. Once you have installed your car seat for your child, take it by your local fire station to have them inspect it to verify that it has been installed correctly. Lastly, no matter how quick your trip, always buckle them up!
For more information on keeping your kids safe while at home, reach out to us at Watch Guard today!