Child Safety: Are Your Young Passengers Protected?

See how some states are working to raise awareness on the best ways to keep your precious cargo safe.

On Monday, Safe Kids Worldwide kicked off National Child Passenger Safety Week by debuting their latest study, “Buckle Up: Every Ride, Every Time.”

The study, which was funded by the General Motors Foundation, found that 25 percent of the parents surveyed had driven without buckling in their kids.

Busy parents had familiar excuses for skipping seatbelts or securing car seats: driving short distances, being rushed, or traveling overnight. But whether you’re headed to the corner store or across the country, making sure your child is securely buckled into their seat should never be optional.

The number of child fatalities from car accidents has fallen over 50 percent since the late ‘80s (a trend that likely started when states began requiring car seats for young kids), but it still remains the number one cause of death for kids ages 1 to 12.

So what can you do to make sure your young passengers are safe? Here are some key ways to protect your precious cargo before hitting the road.

Get child seats checked

Child seat safety inspections are held throughout the year, but many organizations will host additional events this week to help parents ensure their child safety seats are properly installed.

Safe Kids Worldwide is also sponsoring Seat Check Saturday on September 21, with over 500 events nationwide

Know where to go for recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps tabs on all safety issues for child seats. Not only will you be able to get more information on specific product recalls, but you can also see complaints about products, making it a helpful resource if you’re in the market for a new child seat.

Know the rules

In addition to ensuring you’re familiar with the child safety laws in your state, check out the CDC’s recommendations for child passengers. Although booster seats are only required until the age of 7 in many states, the CDC recommends that they be used until the child is at least 9 years old. Of course, you can also check out our expert child safety tips.

Buckle up every time

And now the lecture: No distance is short enough to warrant gambling with your child’s safety or your own. In addition to securing your child passengers during every ride, you too should be fastening your seatbelt. Not only does wearing your seatbelt reduce serious injuries in an accident by 50 percent, but it also makes an impression on young passengers. According to the CDC, kids whose parents passed on seatbelts were about 40 percent less likely to wear one themselves. Kids learn by example, so make sure you’re setting the right one.

Related links

The Safest Seat in the Car: You Might Be Surprised
Car Seat Safety: 5 Myths Debunked


28 Responses to “Child Safety: Are Your Young Passengers Protected?”

  1. Avatar for Jennifer Wood
    September 21, 2013 #

    A nice thing is that I have a son who is serious about buckling up. Whenever he see there is anyone who is not wearing seatbelt, even in the backseat, he would yell out “buckle up”. LOL

  2. Avatar for Jennifer Wood
    September 21, 2013 #

    It's good that there's these type of articles out here! It seems like no one really cares until something bad actually happens. Buckle up EVERY time!

  3. Avatar for Jennifer Wood
    Tsion vazana
    September 21, 2013 #


  4. Avatar for Jennifer Wood
    Theresa Dougan
    September 22, 2013 #

    It surprises me that 25% of parents aren't buckling up every time! The whole routine so habitual for me I do it w/out consideration.

  5. Avatar for Jennifer Wood
    Teresa Hudgins Bruce
    September 22, 2013 #

    Thanks for all the great tips!! I've been driving for 30 yrs now but still learn new things from your e-mails & tips.

  6. Avatar for Jennifer Wood
    Ralph Greigtardiff
    September 22, 2013 #

    I am a strong believer in having the right to make our own decisions, however, a child can't make those decisions on their own. They need the adult to decide to buckle them up. Therefore, I believe laws protecting our children are essential. Having places taking THEIR time to give car seat safety checks and the like, SIMPLY AWESOME! They offer their time and energy to help you safeguard your child, take advantage of it. Enjoy the article, has good safety tips, use it to remember to keep those children safe!

  7. Avatar for Jennifer Wood
    September 22, 2013 #

    You can also goto a firehouse and there is usually some one who will check your car seat to make sure it's in correctly.

  8. Avatar for Jennifer Wood
    September 23, 2013 #

    This article is exactly what I am supposed to keep in mind everytime for my children. Thank you for great information.

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