3 Ways to Ensure Your Child’s Safety in a Car Seat

Today, parents have several options when it comes to keeping their children safe while on the road. Understanding the benefits of each option can help parents decide what kind of car seat to use. A good driving school should explain this if you’re getting your first car seat.

1. Choose the right car seat.

Parents are encouraged to choose a car or booster seat based on their child’s size and age. It’s also important to make sure it fits well in your vehicle. Every car seat does not fit every vehicle. Be sure to do your homework and try before you buy.

Follow the instructions to make sure you’ve installed the seat properly. If you are unsure, ask another parent. In some cities, firefighters, police officers, and other government employees are trained to help install car seats. Check with your city government website to see what is available.

Car seats can be expensive, and it may be tempting to use your sister’s car seat that her kids have outgrown or to pick one up on Craigslist. Used car seats can save you money, but it’s important to ask questions and conduct some research before you buy. Here’s a checklist:

Ask if the seat was ever in use during a car accident. Unless it was a minor accident, pass on the seat.

Guarantee that the seat has all of its parts.

Only buy a used seat with an instruction manual or one that you can get from the manufacturer.

Make sure the seat hasn’t been recalled by the manufacturer. If it has, it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker if you call the manufacturer to find out if the defect can be fixed.

2. Know when to switch safety seats.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages parents to keep children facing the back of the car as long as possible. Convertible or all-in-one seats, as opposed to rear-facing infant seats, grow with your child and keep them in the rear-facing position longer.

Convertible seats can be switched from rear-facing to front-facing once the child outgrows the rear-facing configuration, somewhere between the ages of 1 and 3. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children stay in the rear-facing position until age 2 if at all possible.

All-in-one seats have both rear- and forward-facing options as well as a booster seat, which is recommended for children 8-12 years, or a child who has outgrown their front-facing seat. Kids should stay in a booster seat until a seat belt fits properly. Even then, consider keeping children age 12 in the back seat, which is a safer location if you are in an accident.

You can tell when a child has outgrown their seat when they have reached the maximum height and weight listed by the manufacturer. Keep all the paperwork for your seat, and be sure to register it so they can contact you in case of a recall.

3. Use car seats on public transportation.

Taxis and some buses have seat belts that may allow parents to fasten a car seat in place. If riding on a bus or train without seat belts, keeping a child in a car seat may offer some protection.

The Federal Aviation Administration and AAP recommend children under 40 pounds fly in a car seat. You should buy an extra ticket and make sure that your car seat is FAA-compliant. Be sure to find out if the airline has any specific regulations about flying with young children.

Help Your Kids Drive Smart

Learning how to drive is one of the most significant parts of many children’s adolescent years.

The ability to take the car and go places on their own means that they have finally secured a certain degree of freedom.

Teenage kids are usually very eager to learn how to drive and it’s great to be able to help them learn before they have to take their driver’s tests. Here are some tips for helping your kids learn how to drive.

Take your own driving lessons

One of the best ways to prepare yourself for teaching your kid to drive is by getting in the drivers seat and having someone else instruct you. I learned how to drive from one of the best driving school in Queens, Access2Drive.

Scout out a location

When your kids are first learning how to drive, they should be behind the wheel in a safe and secure location.

Look around your town for wide, car-free parking lots that are open to the public or other spaces that don’t pose any danger to a new driver. You want to have them practice in a space that feels comfortable and danger-free.

Work up to the hard stuff

When you’re teaching your kids something as big and difficult as driving, you want to make sure you start out doing the simple stuff.

Even reversing out of the driveway and then pulling back into the garage are important steps in the learning process.

You can continue to increase in very slow and gradual increments until you are ready to tackle the roads and highways. Remember to follow all the local laws and restrictions when taking your kid out on the roads.

Have a plan

Teaching a teen to drive requires a well thought out plan broken down into different steps and also takes into account the particular learning level and driving skills of your teen.

You have to pay attention to how much they’re learning and what their strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to getting behind the wheel. Make sure to come up with a plan beforehand and to adjust it as needed according to what your teen’s strengths and weaknesses are after you see them perform behind the wheel.