How to Prepare Your Car for Children
If you have children, the following information will help to increase their safety while traveling in a vehicle.
- Children should always ride in a child's car seat or a booster seat until they are tall enough for a seat belt/shoulder harness to fit naturally over the hips and shoulders.
- The car seat should always be placed in the back seat of the car.
- Babies who weigh less than 22 lbs. (10 kg) should always be placed in a rear-facing seat.
- Always fasten your child into their car seat. In a collision, an unrestrained child could be seriously injured.
- Children should sit only in the back seat until they are 12 years old or at least 5 feet (153 cm) tall. This is an especially important rule if the front seats are equipped with air bags, which are built to protect adults but are dangerous to children.
- Don't allow loose objects anywhere near a child under 3 years old.
- When taking long trips, it is important to take frequent breaks to let the child move about and get some air. Keep water, wet-wipes, towels, and a sickness bag on hand.
- Audio books will keep children occupied, and so will movies if you have a rear seat entertainment system. Books may not be a good idea: reading in a car can cause motion sickness.
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Even if you think you'll only be gone for a minute, anything can happen. On a hot day, it can take only a few minutes for a child to suffer from heatstroke in an unventilated car.
- Join a roadside assistance program if you haven't already. Being stranded is bad enough; being stranded with children is extremely dangerous.