This is a social good post from the Ad Council. All opinions are those of our own.
I’m a mom of three and car seat safety is our #1 safety rule anytime we ride in a vehicle. No matter who they are riding with seat belts must be worn properly.
Did you know that every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States?
For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.
That’s why we want parents and caregivers to know about the importance of making sure their child is safely restrained—whether that’s selecting the right car seat for their child’s age and size, or making sure that older kids (8-14) always buckle their seat belts and sit in the backseat.
As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound. This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs to address these important issues. First, is the up to date car seat safety information like the tips found in the fun new video series “The Wide World of Car Seats.”
I wish more parents would come together to cheer each other own for car seat safety, just like they do at their child’s sporting events. If we as parents could get the word out more and share the importance of car seat safety with others young and old our children would have a better chance at surviving these fatal accidents. We all know that accidents can happen in a matter of seconds or a blink of an eye and have your children in proper seating can possibly save their lives. Let’s help one another and share the word of proper car seat safety for our children and teach them and others the right way and safe way of having children in car seats, booster seats and even seat belts.
The right car seat can make all the difference in a motor vehicle crash. And car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. But despite their best intentions, many parents may not realize their child isn’t in the right seat. For example, many parents move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon. To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat.
And just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, your child becomes a “tween” and you enter a whole new world. To help with travel safety, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13)
My boys love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and as a parent, it is great to know that we can even watch the PSAs together—and I can remind them to buckle up safely, just like some of their favorite characters.
I’ve been teaching the kids the importance of buckling up since they were toddlers, so I don’t think I will have a hard time when they are tweens to convince them to be safe. That doesn’t mean I assume my kids are buckled up, I always turn around so I can see them and their seat belt straps are properly fastened and I also listen for the familiar click. I’ve also noticed that buckling up is not always automatic when we have friends in the car. I’m not afraid to require everyone in my car to buckle up and find that most kids are willing to do it when asked. My car does not move until all seat belts are fastened including mine and any other adults riding with me. Parents and adults are prime examples of showing car safety by showing the kids big people wear seat belts too.
My kids often argue over who’s going to ride in the front seat. We do go through this quite frequently because they see other kids their age or younger riding the front seat, but I always explain the importance of riding in the back. It breaks my heart to be stopped at a red light or in the shopping center parking lot and see these car seats just thrown in the car, kids under age bouncing around in the back seat, hanging out the windows, small kids riding in the front seat. It’s scary as a parent even though the kids aren’t your own these kids are innocent and possibly do not know better. It angers me to see the parents or grandparents that do not care or aren’t made aware of proper car seat safety no matter the age. Our kids are innocent and their lives are being taken in a matter of seconds by not paying attention to the details before riding down the road.
Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”