I am 99% sure that I am not the only mom out there who made car seat mistakes and was a wimp about car seat safety when she first became a parent. If you are honest with yourselves, you can probably admit it too. If you don’t think you have made an error when installing your child’s car seat or placing your child in a car seat than you are probably wrong. I read all of the book and had my car seat checked when leaving the hospital too. Guess what? It wasn’t until a highway patrol officer pointed out a HUGE error they spotted that I knew I was wrong. My daughter was four months old. FOUR MONTHS! She was riding around unsafe and unsecured for four months. I nearly cry every time I think of it. Mom guilt is real and brutal.
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.”
I may not be much of a soccer mom, but I appreciate and celebrate real life every day wins like finding the right car seat for your child to be the safest they can be. It is a struggle to find the right car seat that fits your child, your car, and your budget. A win like that must be celebrated and encouraged!
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).
My daughter just started reading the Wimpy Kid books and it is awesome that I can watch video below with her and explain why safety standards are what they are for kids (and adults too).
My daughter has always been safety minded, but seeing character she recognizes reinforce the lessons my husband and I have tried so hard to instill is doubling down on the lesson. When it is that important I will say it any and every way possible to make sure that it sticks. We also have a saying that everyone in our car says when we get in the car, “Car’s on, seat belt’s on”! I usually wait for one of them to say it, but if they forget I do. No matter what it is said and no matter what it is done. If the car is on, seat belts are on. End of story.
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.