Most parents are aware of keeping their children safe inside a vehicle with an approved safety seat or seatbelt. But what most parents do not know, is the surprising list of dangers that can also occur inside the car.
A Back Over: One of the common dangers that can occur outside of the vehicle. This typically occurs when a car backs out of a drive way or parking spot and unknowingly backs over a person. As a driver, you should always look in mirrors and check the area around your car before backing out. You should also never leave keys in the vehicle once you have exited. It is important to teach children to not play around vehicles.
Heatstroke: Although it is illegal in many states, some people believe running out of the car for a minute, while leaving children unattended, cannot cause any harm; however, temperatures can rise in your car on an average of 20 degrees within 10 minutes when the vehicle is turned off. Always keep the doors locked and make sure your children are aware of the dangers of entering a car alone.
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Power Windows: Children can close windows on their fingers, wrists or hands. There is also the risk for strangling as well. Parents should keep power windows locked if possible and teach their children the dangers of touching the buttons for power windows and to keep hands and feet inside of the car at all times. When closing windows, parents should look to see that their children’s arms and hands are far away from windows.
Car Doors: Child safety locks should always be turned on in your vehicle. Most cars are equipped with this feature that makes sure the doors cannot be opened from the inside while the lock is turned on. This ensures that children are not able to open the doors of a moving vehicle.
Seatbelts: Can be dangerous if a child entangles themselves by wrapping it around their neck or head. Make sure your child is the proper age for a seatbelt and that the seatbelt is a safe fit. Never allow children to put their arm over the shoulder belt. This can cause serious harm in the event of an accident.
Trunk Entrapment: Teach children that trunks are for cargo space and not a play area. Keep a close eye on your children when the trunk is open and always make sure your car is locked and the keys are out of children’s reach.
We hope you found these tips helpful when trying to keep children safe in and around your vehicle. Mistakes can happen, but with the proper knowledge and advanced planning, we can begin to eliminate the common dangers children and drivers face daily.
Source: NHTSA, “Keeping Kids Safe”