Keeping Kids Safe Around Cars
A universal truth of parenthood is that we all want the best for our children. It is deeply embedded in our basic instincts that we would want to keep our children safe at all times, but why do we still hear stories or read articles about children dying in or around family-owned vehicles?
Sometimes, we read about a baby being forgotten in the backseat of a car parked for hours under the hot sun. Other times, it’s a tragic story of how a child is run over by their parent’s car in the compound of their own house. Surely no parent wants to hurt their child deliberately, yet these things still happen because parents are human beings after all, and human beings are prone to making mistakes from time to time.
While some things may be unavoidable, there are a few important steps we can take to ensure that our vehicles are safe, especially for our kids:
Keeping our cars locked when parked at home
Typically, we remember to keep our cars safely locked to keep people from breaking into our vehicles and stealing things. As parents, another reason to do this should also be to keep our kids from entering our cars while unsupervised.
Being as playful as they are, kids can sometimes be tempted to climb into their parents’ cars to play around, but this could be quite dangerous especially if it’s done without adult supervision. For one, the child could lock his or herself in the car by accident. In some cases, a child could also accidentally release the parking brake and cause the car to roll. Either situation could cause injury and damage, and while damaged cars can be replaced, our precious children can not.
These risks are easily avoided by simply remembering to keep our cars locked whenever they are parked at home.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, as they say. As parents with small children, it’s always safer to double-check to ensure that our children are where they should be whenever we are around our vehicles.
Whether we have just parked and locked our cars and are heading inside the house, or if we are in our cars about to drive out, it would be wise to always be aware and sure of where our children are.
This is especially true in regards to our car’s blind spots, as children are small and very hard to notice if we are not paying attention while behind the wheel. To be even more careful, we can be sure to move our vehicles very slowly when entering or exiting our homes and depending on our mirrors, reverse sensors, or even reverse cameras; many modern cars are equipped with all sorts of sensors to help us avoid unwanted accidents.
Make use of the Child Lock
Cars also come with special safety features designed with children in mind. When was the last time you used the child lock located in the side of the door? Or what about the window lock that’s usually located with the window switches on the driver’s side door?
These features are incredibly important and already come built-in with our cars. They’re important because they ensure that while the car is moving, children who reach for the car door or even the window switches will not be able to accidentally open the door or window. Can you imagine how terrifying and dangerous it might be if a child was able to do that while you were driving?
Speaking To Our Children
With all these safety features and steps that we take, one of the most important steps would be to simply have conversations with our children on the issue of car safety. Children are smarter than we often give them credit for, so with repeated guidance they can develop a strong understanding of personal safety in and around automobiles.
Help them understand the dangers associated with the car, and perhaps establish a few do’s and dont’s for them to get started with. With time, they’ll come to understand that an automobile is not something they should be playing around, and they’ll slowly learn to keep themselves safe as well.
While it is impossible to keep our children safe 100% of the time, we should always take the time and effort to ensure that we reduce the risks they face in this world, especially when it comes to our family automobiles.