Guide to Better Child Safety around Automobiles: A primer of what to look out for and accommodate as a parent when traveling with children.
An important role is played by child care providers in helping children to learn how they can be safe when around cars. Whether you are providing the children with transportation to and from their child care program or taking the pre-schoolers on a field trip, when it comes to vehicle safety both in and out of the bus or car, you are the role model for the children. Teach them the following rules that will help them to prevent any vehicle related injuries which they are in you child care program.
1. Inside of a Vehicle
When traveling by car, always use car seats and seat belts. Insist that before that car starts to move, all the children must be buckled up. Make sure that children are all in forward car facing seats that are age appropriate untie they are old enough for a lap and shoulder belt to properly fit. If children are being transported to and from child care or on a field trip, insist that all parent provide the proper safety seat, always make sure that it has been correctly installed.
For field trips, only load a few children up at a time. If children are being loaded onto a bus for a field trip, make sure that as on adult loads up one or two children at a time, another adult remains on the bus at all times. If you work with only a few children at a time you can really make sure that everyone is safely strapped in their boosters our safety seats.
When it comes to children who are old enough to fasten themselves up, a simple reminder you can use to remind them to fasten up in their safety seat or their seat belts is “Click, click, be quick!” During the summer time it is best to cover the car seats and boosters with a towel or a sheet, or store them in the child care center when not in use, this will avoid any burns.
Never leave children in a car alone when it is warm outside. According to Phil Andrews of Pinnacle Auto Glass of Phoenix, AZ , even in moderate climates a car can get very warm during day time hours and often easily reach 100 degrees F. This can cause serious and even fatal issues for children and also animals of course.
While driving, avoid any distractions. Keep diaper bags, purses, and any other items that could be dangerous out of reach. If you are asked by a child to hand them something or look at them which you are driving, kindly explain that it is not safe. If a second adult is on the bus then you can guarantee that the drive has no need to become distracted. If when you are driving you need to help a child, find a spot that is safe to stop and first pull the vehicle over.
Teach children that as they ride in a bus or car, they must sit calmly and quietly, Make sure that all toys which encourage active behaviors are left behind at the child care center. Make sure that all children get off the bus. Before you leave vehicle when there are children form your care program in your care, make sure that all of the children have exited the vehicle. Make sure you double check under, in and behind all of the seats of the vehicle to guarantee that you have not missed anyone or left anyone behind.
Prevent UFOs. Make sure that all large, loose objects are secured in the vehicle, this way they do not turn into dangerous projectiles which could harm the children or you in the event of crash. To secure any booster seats in the vehicles which are not being used, use seat belts.
2. Near Cars Outside
Make sure that all play areas are fenced. Whenever children are outside, make sure that all gates are closed and latched. Teach children the importance of always staying inside the fence if they are not accompanied by a parent or child care provider. Never allow children to play behind or even near parked vehicles. Even if the cars are empty, parking lots are not safe areas for children to play.
Carefully supervise walking field trips. Secure infant buggies or strollers. Enlist the assistance of extra adults to supervise walks. So that every adult is only responsible for a few children, divide the children up and make sure that everyone hold hands.
Teach children what the guidelines are for safe street crossing. Only cross the street at crosswalks, beaver in the middle of the street. Stop at every corner and before you cross the street, look both ways. Walk, never run and always hold an adult’s hand. These same rules should be used for parking lots.