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Child Passenger Safety 101

Young passengers need special attention to stay safe. 

father secures daughter in child safety seat, picture

It's smart to be careful with children in or near automobiles. Keep your loved ones out of harm's way by brushing up on these important child-safety tips.

Choose the right ride Your first major decision is the car you buy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publishes safety ratings by car model, class, and manufacturer. The AAA Auto Buying Program can also be a valuable resource, with feature comparisons and consumer reviews.

Get the best seat A child safety seat significantly reduces the chance of serious injury in a crash. But the type of seat a child needs depends on age, size, and weight. A seat that's six to eight years beyond its manufacture date may be expired, and one that has been in a crash may no longer meet safety standards. AAA offers free car seat inspections and education at nearly all branch locations in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah. Schedule an appointment to make sure that you have the right seat, that it’s properly installed, and that you’re using it correctly.

Bring kids with you Don’t leave young children in the car alone. Hot or cold weather can quickly take a toll. It’s not only dangerous, but also illegal in some states.

Guard keys and windows Automatic transmissions can be shifted out of park even if the engine isn’t running, so avoid leaving your keys in the ignition. Also, don’t let children play with window controls, because they can get their fingers, hands, and even their heads caught in power windows.

Look before you back up Check the area around your vehicle for little ones before pulling out of a driveway or a parking space. Use your rearview and side mirrors as you pull out, and roll down windows so you can hear what’s happening outside.

This article was first published in Winter 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.
 

AAA offers free car seat inspections and education at nearly all branch locations in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah.