Home for the Holidays: Top 5 Tips for Better Child Safety in Cars
Going home for the holidays with the family in tow can be especially fun.
But aside from meeting your kids’ travel and caregiving needs, you also have to ensure you keep your kids safe.
While you may not have control over how other drivers behave on the road, you can take steps to enhance your children’s protection in your own car.
Keep young children in the rear seats
Republic Act 11229, also known as Child Car Seats law, requires children under 12 years old or 152 cms (below 5 ft.) in height to NOT BE ALLOWED to sit in in the front passenger seat. This is to protect them from the possibility of injury or death due to the front airbags, which expands at a speed that may be too much for their bones and muscles to handle. Violation of the law comes with corresponding penalties, so don't risk it.
Make sure everyone is buckled up
It’s not only children who need to be secured into their seats with a belt—the adults do, too. Aside from protecting all of your passengers from a crash, ensuring everyone in the vehicle has their seatbelt on means they won’t become human projectiles when the unfortunate happens. An adult body can be just as dangerous to a child as any other item in the cabin in case of a collision.
Remove any sharp, heavy objects
Any loose item in the car can turn into a fatal projectile in the event of a crash or even when slamming the brakes, so get rid of any sharp and heavy objects in the cabin and put them in the trunk. When hauling heavy bags and luggage, make sure to secure them using cargo anchors and straps.
Own appropriate car seat
If your baby is less than three years old, you will need to buy your little one a rear-facing car seat. Once she has outgrown that seat, she’s ready for a forward-facing car seat. Think twice about using hand-me-down seats, as materials can deteriorate with time and may not be able to provide the stability and protection your child deserves.
Always keep kids under your watch
If your trip takes hours long, you’ll need to make a few stops here and there. When you do, never leave your children in or around the car. During your stops, practice extra vigilance and keep an eye on your child at all times. Don’t let them play near cars, as they can get struck by other vehicles backing up.