KEEPING YOUR KIDS SAFE, IN AND AROUND CARS
EVERY WEEK in the U.S. at least 50 children are backed over in driveways and parking lots. EVERY WEEK at least two of these children die. (See chart inside.) Children are also injured or killed because they cannot be seen in front of larger and taller vehicles. Little ones who dart outside to say goodbye often go unseen by a driver when the vehicle is set into motion.
Many times the driver of the vehicle is a parent, relative or neighbor.
Playing in cars can be deadly. Each year hundreds of children are injured or even killed as a result of setting a vehicle into motion.
DANGERS OUTSIDE MOTOR VEHICLES
SUVs, minivans and trucks may have larger blind zones than cars, making it difficult or impossible for the driver to see children behind or directly in front of a vehicle. Steep driveway inclines can reduce visibility even more.
- Walk all the way around and look behind a vehicle prior to moving out.
- Know where your kids are before moving your vehicle. Make sure another adult is properly supervising children so they do not get into the path of a moving vehicle.
- To help the driver detect an object or a person behind a vehicle, consider installing devices such as rear sensors, cameras, special mirrors or lenses. There are many options available—check out www.kidsandcars.org and click on the technology page.
- Teach children that parked vehicles might move. Let them know that even though they can see the vehicle, the driver might not see them.
- Trim the landscaping around your driveway to ensure you can see children.
- Hold a child’s hand when leaving a vehicle.
- Teach your children never to play in, around or behind any vehicle.
- Set the emergency brake every time you park.
DANGERS INSIDE MOTOR VEHICLES
It is dangerous to leave children alone in a vehicle, even for a minute. Children can suffer from heat stroke, accidentally knock a vehicle into motion, be strangled by a power window, or be abducted. Even with the windows down, the temperature in- side a parked car can reach 125 degrees in just minutes. A child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult’s, resulting in potential heat stroke or even death.
- Lock vehicles at all times, even in the garage or driveway.
- Store keys out of children’s reach.
- To be sure your child is never forgotten in your vehicle, put a cell phone, handbag or briefcase on the floorboard in the back seat. This gives you another opportunity to be sure your child is not forgotten.
- Use drive-thru services when available. Use your debit or credit card to pay for gas at the pump.
- If a child is locked inside a car, get him/her out as quickly as possible. If he/she is hot or seems sick, call 911 immediately.
- Lock the power windows so that children cannot get caught in them. Power windows can strangle a child or cut off a finger.