Lifestyle Tween Car Seat Safety April 17, 2017

I know that this is a topic that my friends and I have discussed many times. Most believe that a child could go without a car seat at the age of 7, and some think that it should be sooner. My 8 year old is on the small side, and the idea of keeping him in a car seat is not a bad idea. I want my children to be as safe as possible, and that alone is a good reason for me.

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.”

Wouldn’t it be nice to give positive support to parents that take pride in finding the right car seat for their children (even for tweens)? Check out the Wide World of Car Seats video below:

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).

Who has kids that are fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid series? You are in luck, you can watch the Wimpy Kid PSAs together to remind yourselves to buckle up, just like the characters in the series.

From the time they were able to understand, I have drove home the importance of using seat belts to my children, and I am lucky that it is now second nature for them. There are even times, I am backing out of the driveway and I hear the words, “Mom, your seat belt!”. Now, that doesn’t stop me from checking to ensure they are buckled up, and when others enter our vehicle, the same is expected (no matter what).

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!”

For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp.  If you have a great tip, join the conversation on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.

Until Next Time!

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