Your kids are your life. You are constantly doing everything in your power to keep them safe, especially when it comes to the car. When you go somewhere, you always have them buckled up according to guidelines and you drive extra cautiously. But, unfortunately, there are a lot more ways for kids to get hurt by cars than in an accident. Here’s what you need to know:
Always Look Before You Drive
Kids are always on the move. They aren’t aware of the danger around them; they are just focused on having fun. That’s why it is the driver’s responsibility to always check around the perimeter of the car before moving it. This is especially true when backing up. Every car has a huge blind zone around it, and the last thing you want is for a child to be in yours.
Of course, it depends on the size and height of the vehicle, but generally, you can’t see 6-8 feet in front of your car and up to 40 feet behind your car. That is a lot of space for a little kid to be hiding. If you really want the extra peace of mind, install a backup camera onto your car: They are a lot cheaper than you would think.
Watch the Windows
Think about it: A child is having fun poking their head out the window and then their elbow hits the window control. It would never be intentional, but it does happen. These power windows are packing a whopping 30-80 pounds of force behind them, and since it only takes 22 pounds of force to break a trachea, they are a very serious threat to kids.
Luckily, vehicles manufactured after 2010 are required to have window controls that need to be pulled up to close, which does help a little. But again, kids are all about having fun, and windows that roll up and down at the touch of a button just scream excitement to them. Let your kids know that windows are not toys, and always do a visual check yourself before attempting to roll them up from the driver’s side.
Never Leave Them Alone
Of course, you would never intentionally leave your kid alone in a hot car. You know how serious is it and that it only takes minutes for serious consequences to ensue. But in most cases, when a kid dies from being in a hot car, the parent didn’t even know they were in it. Maybe the kid was out playing and thought it would be fun to climb into the car to hideout. Perhaps the parent did know the child was in the car, but they only planned on being in the store for one minute.
First, just don’t leave your kids alone in the car for any length of time. You have no way to know what is going to occur when you step into the store (or wherever you are going). The perceived hassle of bringing the kids with you is worth knowing they are safe. Secondly, leave your car locked when you go inside. You would never purposely let them play in it, but kids will be kids.