As a parent, you probably take great care to keep your young child safe. You ensure any medicines or cleaning products are out of their reach. You hold their hands to cross the road and tell them to be careful every time they go out to play.
Yet, many parents inadvertently put their children at risk when they get in the car by not strictly enforcing the seatbelt rules.
Ensuring children are strapped in when you are driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car crashes took the lives of 636 children and injured another 97,000 during 2018. Parents or adults in charge of the children could have prevented many of those deaths and injuries.
A third of young children who were killed in car crashes during that time were not buckled up at the time of their fatal crash. The CDC defines children as 12 years old or younger for purposes of this study. It becomes sadder still when you look at the deaths per age group that a fastened seatbelt or child seat might have averted:
- 22% of children under 4 years old
- 36% of children aged 4 to 7 years old
- 49% of children aged 8 to 12 years old
Is spending an extra few seconds to strap your toddler in their child seat worth it? Absolutely. As frustrating as it may be to tell your 9-year-old to put their seatbelt back on for the third time, it’s a necessary measure. It almost doubles their chance of survival.
You can drive as carefully as you like, but you can never account for other drivers’ actions. It only takes one negligent driver to crash into you and take your child away or leave them with serious injuries.