As parents, child safety and vehicle safety are two important concerns day in and out. Since becoming a parent you have probably been a more cautious and responsible driver while making sure that your children are safely strapped in when onboard your vehicle. And yet, children are exposed to some common dangers that are too easy to overlook. For your child’s sake, read below:
Car Danger #1 – Heatstroke
As the effects of global warming make themselves more felt, we can now add heatstroke to one of the dangers of modern living. The interior of a car can easily rise to more than 110°F within the first 10 minutes of turning off the air conditioning—even if the temperature is in the 60s range. Never leave your child unattended inside the car, even if it’s just for a few minutes and even if the windows are partly lowered. At home, make sure that your kids cannot get inside parked vehicles where they can be accidentally locked up.
Incidentally, heatstroke (in addition to asphyxiation) can also occur should your child get entrapped in the car trunk, so make sure that everything is all locked up.
Car Danger #2 – Seat Belt Entanglement
Most seat belt straps have a locking mechanism which gets engaged when the belt is pulled all the way out from the retractor. Children can easily get entangled when this locking mechanism activates. It can easily happen if your child happens to play with an unused seat belt, or if he or she pulls out the belt all the way out. It can also occur if you restrain your child in a lying position, which requires you to pull out more belt length. Always make sure that your child is properly restrained, and teach him or her that it is not right to play with seat belts. And always keep unused seat belts buckled—just like they do in planes.
Car Danger #3 – Car Backovers
A backover accident happens when a car getting out of the garage or a parking space runs over a child whom the driver could not see from the rearview mirror. The area directly behind the rear bumper is a blind spot, and the bigger your vehicle is, the larger your blind spot is going to be. You can prevent accidents from happening by always checking the area around your car before backing up. Always back up slowly and carefully, because children often move unexpectedly. And of course, teach your children not to play around cars, and to always move out of harm’s way when a car starts or a driver gets in.