It’s Important For Your Kids to Feel Safe on Winter Road Trips

Winter road trips present a host of challenges. Of course, the weather can be a factor, considering where you’re driving, but there are so many other elements to consider as well. Especially when you’re traveling with your family and with your children, it’s important that everyone feels safe to have a smooth and seamless road trip.

 

Safety is one of the basic fundamental human needs, and children are especially affected by this need. Here are the main reasons why it’s important for your kids to feel safe on winter road trips.

 

Safety encourages rest

 

When kids feel truly safe, they are able to relax and rest. In the case of road trips, this means they’re able to sleep, or just relax to a level of calmness that keeps everyone happy. Especially when you are driving long distances, it’s necessary that kids find time to sleep – and this can only really happen if they are incredibly tired, as well as if they feel safe.

 

So, make some preparations to make sure that your kids feel safe and comfortable. Encourage them to bring along their favorite books and toys, bring some familiar snacks, play soothing and enjoyable music. Especially for the first hour or so in the car, creating an environment of safety and support is crucial. Bring travel-friendly pillows and blankets as well (or maybe their favorite pillow or stuffed animal), so your kids feel as safe and secure as possible.  

 

Safety encourages happiness

 

When you feel safe, you are then able to experience a broad range of other emotions, including happiness. The same applies to children. While road trips, especially road trips with children, are not typically an experience that we associate with happiness, there’s no reason why your winter road trip can’t be a happy one!
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Child Passenger Safety Week #STORKS #TheRightSeat

The Right Seat Isn’t The Only Thing Keeping Your Kids Safe! Let’s Talk About Child Passenger Safety Week!

The Right Seat Isn’t The Only Thing Keeping Your Kids Safe! Let’s Talk About Child Passenger Safety Week!

If you are a parent, it is very likely that you have spent countless hours researching your new baby’s car seat, or which car seat you need to buy next as your child grows and grows. I know that my son is constantly growing it seems, and sometimes I look at him and think maybe he is getting to that age where he doesn’t need a seat. But that just isn’t the case. Many parents take their kids out of a car seat or booster seat way too early. While a good car seat is vital for protecting your child in the event of a crash, it is not enough on its own. Even the best car seats cannot force you to properly install them or buckle your child in.

Every 33 seconds one child under age 13 is involved in a car crash— but safety seats, if used correctly and installed correctly, dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury to children.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbkjToOqJ3Q]

 

Is Your Child In The Right Seat?:

  • Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as possible.
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Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat? #therightseat

Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? In 2013, a child under 13 was involved in a crash every 33 seconds.
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During Child Passenger Safety Week, please visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat to determine your child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat inspection event in their area.  Additionally, parents and caregivers can register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.
  • If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be compromised. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats:     http://www.safercar.gov/parents/RightFit.htm
  • Free Car Seat Inspections: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be events across the country where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge.  Locate a car seat check event here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm
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Sarah Tilton’s Car Seat Installation Tips and WIN a Britax Advocate ClickTight car seat

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Car Seat Installation Tips:

  • It is important to follow the user manuals from both the child car seat manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer in order to achieve a proper installation.
  • Use a car seat that makes installation as simple as buckling a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of every four car seats are installed incorrectly. To address this concerning fact, the new ClickTight installation technology in Britax convertible car seats gives any caretaker the confidence to correctly and securely install these seats in just a few easy steps.
  • The safest place for your child in any vehicle is in the back seat. The center of the rear seat is preferable to outboard (window) positions — as long as you can achieve a tight installation — because it is the farthest from a side impact. Research has shown that children under the age of 3 have a 43 percent lower risk of injury when restrained in the center of the rear seat compared with the rear outboard positions. However, keep in mind that if you’re not able to install your car seat in the center position, a properly installed car seat in an outboard position will still provide excellent protection for your child during a crash.
  • Tips to avoid loose car seat installation:
  • After installation, grasp the seat near the belt path to check for excessive movement, which is movement of more than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back at the belt path.
  • If you have trouble installing your car seat securely, try the following:
    • Install the car seat in another seating position in your vehicle. For example, if you can’t install it securely in the rear center seat, try an outboard position.
    • Install the car seat using another installation method. For example, if you’re not able to get a secure installation using the LATCH system, try to install with the vehicle seat belt and tether.
  • The process of seating and removing your child along with the motion from your vehicle moving can shake your child seat loose over time. This makes it critical to check the fit often and reinstall your child seat periodically.
  • Using a technology like ClickTight, which uses seat belts for installation, also eliminates any parental worry about the 65-pound LATCH capacity and when to switch a growing child away from it.
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5 Things Parents of Teen Drivers Can Do to Keep Them Safe on the Road

There comes a time in every parent’s life when their children are going to get behind the wheel and start driving. This is a nerve wracking time for many parents, but you can make it easier on your self and your kids. Follow these 5 suggestions to keep your teen drivers safe on the road when they start driving.

  1. Enforce a No Phone Rule
    One of the biggest dangers to teens and older drivers alike on the road is cell phone use behind the wheel. Mobile phones have worked their way into almost every aspect of life for many of us, and the risks of talking and texting behind the wheel have led legislators in many areas to pass laws against drivers using cell phones. Set your own ground rules about using phones while driving. Your teens shouldn’t be answering any calls while they’re driving–not even your calls.
  2. Talk About Intoxication
    Like many parents, you may be shocked to learn that kids are partaking in underage drinking all over the country. This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is one that parents rightly rail against in every generation. Talk to your teens about the dangers of driving under the influence. Not only is it illegal, it is extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Intoxicated drivers account for a large percentage of auto accidents every year. When you drive drunk, you put your own life on the line as well as the lives of those around you. Having a candid discussion about this with your teens could be a life saver.
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Child Passenger Safety Tips

Unless you regularly check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website like me, you probably missed Child Passenger Safety Week in September. The Department of Transportation does their best to raise awareness about keeping kids safe in the event of a crash, but sometimes the message gets lost under banal stats and minimal fanfare.

What made this public service announcement notable was the release of a survey detailing the five most common mistakes made in child safety by parents. About one in five parents don’t bother to read the installation instructions for their child’s car seats. Regardless, 90 percent were totally confident of their safety restraints. Here are the top five mistakes:

1. Wrong harness slot: Often, children were strapped in using a slot that’s too low or too high for optimum safety in the event of a crash.
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Establishing Rules of the Road for Your Teen

The process of teaching your teenager to drive can be a complicated one, with a lot
of moving parts, so to speak. There are a lot of different facets of the responsible driving
experience, and as a responsible parent you always want to make sure you cover all of
your bases, and then some. You might be lucky, and have your children enrolled in a
school that teaches driver’s education as part of its regular curriculum, or you’ve enrolled
your child in a driver’s ed course outside of school. Either way, each teenager is required
to attend a class, study a book, and receive a certain number of hours’ worth of behind-
the-wheel practice with a certified instructor. These methods aren’t always enough,
however, to get your teenager as used to the road as he or she should be before setting
out to get that license, and that’s what the learner’s permit is for. You’ll have a chance
to drive with your teen for about six months before he or she is eligible for a driver’s
license, and that’s your chance to really make sure your teenager is absolutely familiar
with the rules of the road.

It’s important to keep in mind how stressful driving can be when you’re first doing it.
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