In our mobile society, most children spend a great deal of time in the car. But very few children are given strict rules of conduct to keep them safe during their trips. Here are some helpful safety guidelines to teach your children:
1. Always wear your seat belt. A seat belt should be on before the car moves, and should stay on until the engine is turned off at your destination.
2. Use both lap and shoulder belts. While most cars have lap and shoulder belts that buckle as a unit, but some have two separate belts -- one lap and one shoulder -- or only a lap belt. Make sure your child looks for and fastens both belts.
3. Never share a seat belt. Two kids should never buckle up as a pair.
4. Ride in the backseat. Kids younger than 12 should always ride in the backseat. Passenger-side air bags, designed to protect a person with a much bigger body, can seriously injure a small child.
5. Stay calm. Kids need to understand the importance of staying calm and low-key in the backseat. If they're jumping around or yelling, it can distract the driver and put all the passengers at risk.
6. Follow these rules all the time. Kids have a tendency to think that rules only apply when they're with their parents. Instruct your child to always follow the rules for car safety -- even if they're in someone else's car. For instance, if she's asked to sit in the front seat of a car, she should tell the driver that she would prefer to sit in the back.
Source: American Medical Association
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.