It’s Child Passenger Safety Week. That may not mean much to some people. As a Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor, this week is a reminder of how far we’ve come in improving safety for kids on the road. It’s also a reminder of how far we still have to go. Children are still dying in crashes that they could have survived. For every child that dies, several more will be injured in ways that affect them for life.
Of all the things we worry about as parents, I’m consistently surprised at how low car seat safety tends to be on the parental concern scale. You buy the car seat, you plop it in the car, you strap the kiddo in. What’s to worry about, right? Based on the photos people post online of their smiling or snoozing kids in their car seats, there’s still plenty to worry about. The straps are too loose and twisted. The harness isn’t even completely on the child. A tiny infant is sitting forward-facing. A petite 3rd grader has the shoulder belt tucked under their arm because otherwise it covers their face.
And people laugh at those who express concern or take great care to buckle their kids up correctly. One mom I know recently posted a picture of her child, properly restrained in a booster seat, and received several comments about wrapping her kid in bubble wrap or sending her to driver’s ed with a booster seat.
This is one thing we can do as parents that makes a real difference. I cannot ensure that my child doesn’t become ill with a rare disease. I cannot protect my kids from freak accidents. But I can make sure they have the best possible chance of surviving a car crash, and reduce their chance of injury so they’re more likely to walk away on their own two feet.
Vehicle crashes are still one of the leading causes of death and injury to kids under 14. We can do better. Cars will crash. Accidents happen. Our actions now can definitely improve the outcomes later, though.
My challenge to you this week is to find one thing you could do better to protect your kids in the car. If you have little ones, check out a few of my car seat safety tips. If your kids are older, make sure they know how the seat belt should fit, and remind them that they should be buckled up every time. If the seat belt doesn’t fit your 8 to 12 year old, get a booster. The Safety 1st Incognito
is a great one for older kids since it blends in with the vehicle interior. Clear out the junk that accumulates in a family vehicle so it won’t fly around and hurt people in a crash. Make sure you’re buckling up every time, too, because the kids won’t if you don’t.
I’m giving away an Evenflo Symphony DLX 3-in-1 car seat to celebrate CPS Week! This is a fantastic car seat that can be used rear-facing, forward-facing, and as a booster. It’s super-easy to use and I think it’s one of the best available right now – get all the details and features in my Evenflo Symphony DLX review. All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is follow my Facebook and Twitter pages using the Rafflecopter widget below. For bonus entries, you can share some of my car seat safety tips so others can take on the CPS Week Challenge, too.
a Rafflecopter giveaway