Having children changes your life forever. As youngsters develop, it can be hard to keep up with changing safety concerns. Here are some important strategies for each stage of life.
- Bringing baby home Safety seats in vehicles can reduce the risk of fatal injury to infants by 71 percent, yet only one out of four seats is correctly installed. Before your baby is born, get a free car seat inspection from a certified technician to ensure that your rear-facing infant seat is ready to go. Visit inspection locations, including AAA branches, at nhtsa.gov.
- From toddler to tyke Switch to a forward-facing car safety seat when your child your child is at least two years old and surpasses the convertible seat’s weight and/or height limit. Your child should remain forward-facing for as long as possible before moving into a booster seat. Traveling? AAA members get a free child safety seat with Hertz rental cars.
- First day of school All the kids in your car pool should ride in booster seats in the backseat until adult seat belts fit them properly. AAA School Safety Patrol members teach younger kids about traffic safety and help them walk safely to and from school.
- Training wheels Teaching your child to ride a bike includes lessons in safety: Wear a helmet, obey traffic laws, and wear bright colors or reflective clothes.
- Driver education Helping your teenager get a driver’s license can be anxiety provoking. AAA offers advice on choosing a driving school, navigating the licensing process, and saving money on car insurance.
- Handing over the keys Sign a AAA Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that outlines limits and expectations. Download a copy at teendriving.AAA.com.
- (Almost)all grown up Once they’re driving on their own, it’s important to remind teens of safe habits: Never drink and drive; never use a phone while driving; always wear a seat belt.
This article was first published in September 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.