Parents Room

Kids and Cars: Tips to Keep Your Children Safe

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more children are killed as passengers in car accidents than by any other type of injury.

Many of these deaths and injuries can be avoided with the proper use of child safety seats and seat belts. While 97 percent of parents believe they install and use child safety seats properly, NHTSA reports that nearly 73 percent of child seats are installed and/or used incorrectly.

The following are some tips on child safety in and around motor vehicles.

* Never position a child in the path of a front air bag. Kids of all ages are safest when properly restrained in the back seat.

* Always keep a child secured in a child restraint. Make sure the harness straps and the seat itself are not loose and that your child is the right age and weight for the restraint used.

* Before getting into the vehicle, check for children around the area, behind your vehicle and in the street. When backing out, roll down the window and listen to hear if children are playing near your car or calling out to you, check rearview and side mirrors for children (or pets) and honk to give a warning that you are moving your car.

* Never let your child ride on your lap. It is not only unsafe, it is illegal in all 50 states.

Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge service specialists provide these additional reminders for child safety:

* Never leave a child unattended in a car.

* Always keep the car locked, including the trunk or hatch.

* Keep fold-down seats in the upright and closed position so children do not crawl into the trunk.

* Keep car keys out of reach and sight of children.

* If a child gets locked in a car and cannot get out, immediately call 911 for assistance.

There is no substitute for having a child’s safety seat professionally checked.

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