Staying safe while traveling can be a challenge with squirmy toddlers. Kids need to know that there are some rules that need to be obeyed 100 percent of the time, and rules for the car fall into that category.
Check out these useful tips for keeping your kids safe when traveling in the car.
A safety belt must be worn for all car rides. Make it a habit to keep the car in park until everyone is buckled in. Buckle babies and toddlers into their car seats and then ensure all other passengers (including yourself) are buckled in before the car sets in motion.
Use all seatbelts correctly. Most vehicles combine a shoulder and lap belt in one buckle, however some manufacturers have made them with two separate buckles. Teach kids to check for both a lap and shoulder belt. Instruct kids to wear shoulder belts correctly (over the shoulder, not under the armpit) to insure maximum protection in case of an accident.
Never share seatbelts. It might seem like fun for a kid to share a seatbelt with a sibling or friend, but it’s never a good idea from a safety perspective.
Sit in the back seat. Kids under 13 should always ride in the backseat. This protects them from injury should the passenger side air bag deploy.
Stay calm. Teach kids to keep the noise level at a reasonable level while the vehicle is moving. Behaviors such as screaming, kicking the seat or throwing toys can distract the driver and cause an accident. Let them know to keep their hands, legs and feet to themselves.
Follow the rules. If your child carpools, he needs to be respectful of the rules of the car. For instance, if no food or drink is allowed, he should restrain from eating and drinking on the way home. If asked to sit in the passenger seat, train him to respectfully decline and tell the driver he would be more comfortable sitting in the backseat.
If your kids take the bus to and from school, many of the same rules apply, but here are a few additional rules to keep in mind:
Wait for the bus away from the curb. The line for the bus should start about six feet away from the street. The line should run perpendicular to the street and not down the sidewalk alongside the road.
Wait for the bus driver. Kids should wait until the bus driver gives the OK to enter the bus. They should wait in line away from the curb until the bus driver motions that it’s safe to enter. While entering, they should not push but patiently wait their turn as smaller children may fall while getting on the bus.
Be aware of others. Older kids who carry book bags or backpacks need to be mindful of smaller kids behind them in the aisle. Backpacks can get stuck on the door or around seats.
Stay in your seat. It is important not be jump around when the bus is in motion. Keep games and romping around for after everyone gets off.
Cross in front of the bus. Before crossing the street, make sure the STOP signs are out on the bus. Look both ways before crossing, even in a cross walk. If there is a crossing guard, follow the crossing guard’s direction when crossing the street.
Teaching kids to follow these simple safety rules will make traveling with them more pleasant and safer for everyone in the car.