When folks think of safety of kids in cars, they almost always think about car seats and buckling down.
I was the same. Rig up those car seats and boosters, buckling the kids down, and we’re golden.
But then something happened to my friend that showed me how complacent I had been when it came to my family’s safety around cars.
That something was my friend losing his grandson in a car accident. The boy had been backed over by a vehicle driven by there child’s mother – my friend’s own daughter.
I found out that every week, at least 50 kids are backed over by a vehicle in the US
As a parent of little ones at the time, I had a hard time trying to make sense of the horrible event.
I did not know what to say to my friend – everything I could think of felt inadequate and hollow.
So I asked what I could do.
When my friend told me that the family needed some financial help to build a private memorial for the treasure they had lost, I got to work and did the best I could to raise and get them the funds.
Then I did something for myself to process things the tragedy that had hit me really hard – I researched.
And I found out that every week, at least 50 kids are backed over by a vehicle in the US.
Little ones are really hard to spot in rear-view mirrors …. Invent a game and teach them to spot rumbling engines and reverse lights so they are conditioned to pay attention.
You can read more about it here, but I learned very quickly that car seats and seat belts are just one part of keeping your family safe when cars are involved.
Car seats are just the beginning
- Little ones are really hard to spot in rear-view mirrors. So help your kids pay attention in your driveway, in the parking lot and in garages. Invent a game and teach them to spot rumbling engines and reverse lights so they are conditioned to pay attention.
- If you have a baby or small child, consider asking for help whenever possible, such as from grocery store employees. Your focus should be on your kids.
- In the parking lot, have younger children board the car from the driver’s side. Secure them in the car before dealing with things like shopping and groceries.
- Make sure your kids have proper car seats and that they are adjusted properly.
- At home, if you are leaving small kids at home, make sure an adult knows you are leaving and is watching to make sure none of them try to follow you out.
- Get a back-up camera.
Safety on the road
- Make sure your kids are strapped in. I’m assuming their car seats are properly secured.
- Do you know how to adjust your side mirrors properly? Most folks try to tweak it so that they still see a sliver of the side of their car. But consider putting it even further out – this article will show you how. Or, add little mirrors to get rid of blind spots.
- Look into the rear view mirror often. Sometimes this simple action can give you an early warning of a less attentive driver. You’ll have to get your kids to practice the “rocket liftoff” position – head back, chin tucked slighty down. Maybe even condition them to react to “Rocket!” so it’s not scary for them.
- And the most simple and most important – pay attention and put your phone away. SERIOUSLY.
We would love to hear what your thoughts are about this topic – please leave a comment below to let us know what other ways people can keep their families safe when in their cars.