Riding in Cars with Kids
Last week we lost a family friend who was hit by a car while skateboarding. He was only 14. Then this week my 4 year old, Mick Willie, has discovered that he can buckle himself in his car seat. These things combined have made me think that losing any of my babies to a car accident is unfathomable, which makes this issue close to my heart. I know that getting into this habit is a long time battle for us, as my little guy is really little, so he will be in a seat probably until College. But that's not weird at all, is it?
Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.
That’s why we want parents and caregivers to know about the importance of making sure their child is safely restrained—whether that’s selecting the right car seat for their child’s age and size, or making sure that older kids (8-14) always buckle their seat belts and sit in the backseat.
As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound. This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs to address these important issues. First, is the up to date car seat safety information like the tips found in the fun new video series “The Wide World of Car Seats.”
It's the little things we would love a cheering section for, like washing a uniform the NIGHT BEFORE your child needs it or finding the right car seat for your little one.
The right car seat can make all the difference in a motor vehicle crash. And car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. But despite their best intentions, many parents may not realize their child isn’t in the right seat. For example, many parents move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon. To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit
And just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, your child becomes a “tween” and you enter a whole new world. To help with travel safety, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13).
Diary of a Wimpy Kid has always been a favorite in my house, even with my older girls, so passing it down to little brother has already happened. At least I know he will pay attention to it.
The rule in our house has always been that we don't move the car until everyone is buckled in. With little ones it's easy because you do it for them, but for older kids and tweens it's definitely a battle you want to choose. My four year old has found out how to buckle himself in these days and although he takes what seems to be 10,0000 days to do it, he will fuss at me if I try to drive off before he's all ready. It's a time to slow down a minute and actually get my podcast cued up or send that text so I don't have to do it while driving.
Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”
For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp. If you have a great tip, join the conversation on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.