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Keeping Kids Safe in the Car

Remember when you placed your newborn baby in their car seat for the very first time? I sure do. It was completely nerve-racking. I was sure that something terrible would happen on the five-minute drive from the hospital to our house when we brought our first baby home. I was so worried that I sat crouched next to him in his seat, the whole drive home. It was a little easier when we brought our second baby home from the hospital, but that twinge of worry was still there. It's natural to be overprotective of our children at any age... I mean, after all, it's our primary responsibility to care for them and to keep them safe.

As kids get older, life gets a bit more hectic, and it's so easy to rush from place to place. Keeping their safety at the forefront of your mind, however, is so important- whether your child is an infant, toddler, kid, teen or even adult.

Here are a few great tips on keeping kids safe in the car:

Check to make sure they are properly restrained. 
It's the law to buckle up, folks... no matter where you are. Keep your kiddos safe by making sure they are properly buckled. Check laws in your state for child car seat safety. I no longer have an infant, but my toddler is in a car seat, and I constantly keep myself up to date on restrictions, law changes, recalls, etc. I like to research car seats and read reviews so I know that my child is in the safest seat possible.

I also get a little crazy over the car seat buckle. The cross buckle should be at armpit level and should be snug against your child. My toddler constantly whines that it's too tight (which it isn't), but loose straps won't keep your precious little one safe. Read the instructions and follow them each and every time you place your child in their seat. If you have questions about installation, you can visit a local fire department and they will help you install your seat or check it if you have installed it yourself.

Ask older kids if they're buckled before you get on the road.
When I pick my 8-year-old up from school, I ask him if he's buckled, before I approach the driveway to pull out onto the main road. If he isn't, we pull off to the side in the school parking lot, so he can safely secure his backpack and get his seatbelt on.

Keep noise to a minimum.
My kids love to listen to music in the car, but with two kids, ages 2 & 8, and a drive through a local college campus between the school and our house, I have to pay extra close attention. Instead of blaring music in the car, I choose to play gentle music on the radio and keep the volume pretty low. I ask my kids questions about their day, allowing each one to take a turn to speak. This keeps the kids active/engaged, and from trying to pick on each other, which can lead to shrieking/screaming/crying and can be very distracting to the driver.

Keep everything locked.
I constantly have to ask my husband to lock the car doors when we ride in his car. It both concerns me and drives me a little crazy. I keep the child locks engaged on the doors to the backseat on both sides. My toddler has already figured out how to work the door handle, and I can't trust her not to open the car door when we're on the road. I keep the doors locked for my safety and theirs. I also keep the windows up or only just slightly cracked open on a nice day. Because my kids think it's fun to roll windows down, I keep the windows locked, too, so that only I can control them from the front seat of the car. It's way too scary to think about someone walking up to our car at a red light, sticking their hand through an open window and unlocking the car door from the inside.

Common sense will keep you and your kids safe in the car. You already have so many other things to worry about!

Brought to you by Legacy Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

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