10 ways to keep children safe in and around cars

There are some simple things we can do to help keep children safe writes Geraldine Herbert.

  1. Be Aware – All too often children are hurt or die because drivers simply didn’t see them. From schools to residential driveways and quiet back streets always be aware that children are around.
  2. Reversing – Before you back out of your driveway ensure your children are being supervised. Leaving your window wound down while reversing out of a driveway or car park is a good idea as it allows you to hear if anyone is nearby.
  3. Hot Weather – Never leave a child inside a hot car. Even when it is not a particularly hot day the glass windows magnify the temperature inside resulting in much hotter conditions than outside.
  4. Don’t let children play inside the carEach year children are hospitalized or killed after accidentally setting a car into motion. Never leave a child play in a car on their own; keep your car locked and the keys out of sight.
  5. Rules of the road – Teach kids about road safety and instruct them to move away from a car when the driver gets in or when the car is started. Ensure they understand that even though they can see the car and possibly even the driver it does not mean they can be seen.
  6. Car Seats – Never drive without your child safely strapped into the carrier or booster seat, no matter how short the distance! Also, ensure they have the correct seat for their height and weight and that the seat is installed correctly.
  7. Electric Windows – Children can accidentally trap their fingers or hands in electric windows so always ensure the safety lock is switched on.
  8. Safety – When choosing a new vehicle prioritize safety features like rearview cameras and parking sensors.
  9. Slow down – Until the age of about eight, it is difficult for children to assess whether a car is moving or not and even at the age of 10 many children cannot reliably judge distance. In addition, children have no idea how long it takes for a car to stop and do not yet have the ability to estimate, they mistakenly assume that cars can stop instantly.
  10. Safe exit – When getting in and out of a car always make sure children only get out on the side of the footpath.

Geraldine Herbert

16 June 2021

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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