NHTSA Offers Booklet: "A Parent's Guide to Playing it Safe with Kids and Cars"

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created a booklet to help parents understand all the safety features on their vehicles, and how to keep children safe by using the available safety features and car seats. The booklet opens up with a list of a few safety features to help keeps kids safe. These include automatic door locks, push-down/pull-up window switches, advanced frontal air bags, side impact airbags, anti-pinch/auto-reverse windows, rearview cameras, and interior trunk release. Taking a closer look at the trunk release feature, the NHTSA makes sure to point out that when playing hide and seek, the trunk of a car looks like the perfect place to hide. It's important that children know where the release is and how it works in the event they get stuck. More safety tips are included on power windows and safety defects. For power windows, the NHTSA mentions that fingers, arms, and other body parts can be trapped by a closing window. It's important to check that children are clear of windows and in their seats before putting a vehicle in motion. Some vehicles and safety features have common defects that can endanger your children. Be sure to check the NHTSA website to see if your vehicle or safety equipment is under investigation.
When it comes to child seats, with the different styles and age ranges, it's important to get the right one for your child. This booklet clearly answers this question with a visual chart to help improve understanding. It's also important to get a car seat that's easy to install, and by looking at ease-of-use ratings from the NHTSA, you can make the best decision for your specific needs. Not only are there dangers when it comes to the exterior of the vehicle, but inside as well. Even though new safety features can keep children safe, it's important that both children and parents are aware that there are still potential dangers. The four main dangers are backover, heatstroke, rollaway, and seat belt entanglement. Thanks to rearview cameras and blind spot detectors, accidentally hitting a child when backing out of a parking spot, garage, or driveway has been significantly reduced, but it's still important to check your vehicle's surroundings before going anywhere. Leaving children unattended in a vehicle poses two different dangers, the first of which is heatstroke. When left in a car when the outside temperature is hot, even when the windows are cracked, can cause a heatstroke, which is the number one cause of vehicle-related death in children under 14. Also, leaving a child in a car unattended with the keys in the ignition is never a good idea. They can accidentally make the vehicle move, or even drive away. Seat belt entanglement is rather common, and can happen on both short and long trips. Some kids like to pull them completely out and wrap it around themselves, possibly getting caught around their necks. It's important to make sure all belts not being used are buckled and locked to prevent entanglement. Also, you can tell your children that these seat belts are not toys and they should not play with them. On top of a complete list of almost every vehicle on the road today with their safety features, the NHTSA wants to make sure parents remember to use a car seat for every trip, make the proper car seat selection for the age and size of the child, make sure the car seat is compatible with your vehicle, and keep children in the back seats until they are twelve years or older. Source: NHTSA