Making Safe Simple: On the way

Injuries from motor vehicle collisions are in the top four injuries to children annually. Proper restraint systems such as car seats, boosters, and seat belts can greatly reduce childhood injury from car crashes. When travel includes ATVs or boats, there are equally easy ways to keep kids safe.Review the tips below to keep children’s safe on the way.

Child seat safety/Child safety seats

 

An estimated 75% of car seats are installed improperly (SafeKids USA). Correctly and safety securing children in vehicles can greatly reduce injury. Caregivers should always serve as role models and rule-setters when it comes to vehicle safety restraints and motor vehicle safety. Download the Car Seat Safety PDF.

Infants and young toddlers (Rear-facing car seats)

Children should remain in a rear-facing child safety seat as long as possible, or until they exceed the height or weight limit specified by the child restraint manufacturer. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ride rear-facing until at least two years of age.

  • Read the car seat and vehicle owners’ manuals to ensure the seat is installed properly.
  • Position the harness straps so they are at or below the child’s shoulders.
  • Make sure the harness straps are buckled, properly positioned, and snug.
  • Make sure the chest clip is at armpit level.
  • If installed properly, the car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction.
  • Never put a rear-facing car seat in front of an active airbag.
  • Children are always safest in the back seat.

Preschoolers and young school children (Forward-facing car seats)

Five-point restraints provide more protection to children in motor vehicle accidents because they spread the crash forces over a larger area of their body. Many car seats have five point restraints with high weight limits. Don’t be in a rush to move a child from a forward-facing child restraint into a booster seat.

  • Forward-facing car seats should be used once a child has reached the maximum weight or height limit of a rear-facing seat.
  • Use a forward-facing carseat with a harness until the child reaches the height or weight limits specified by the seat’s manufacturer before transitioning into a booster seat.
  • Read the car seat and vehicle owners’ manuals to ensure the seat is installed properly.
  • Position harness straps so they are at or above the child’s shoulders.
  • Some convertible seats require the use of top slots when the seat is forward-facing; be sure to read the car seat manual carefully.
  • Make sure the harness straps are buckled, properly positioned, and snug.
  • Make sure the chest clip is at armpit level.
  • If installed properly, the car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction.

ATV Safety

With proper training, safety equipment, and an appropriately-sized ATV, children and teens can protect themselves from serious injury while riding ATVs. Download the ATV Safety PDF.

ATV injury facts

  • ATV injuries commonly occur from rollover crashes, collisions with stationary objects and falling off the ATV.
  • The majority of fatalities result from injuries to the head and neck.
  • Non-fatal injuries commonly include broken bones and head injuries.
  • ATVs are designed for off-road use. Paved roads can seriously hamper the machine’s handling ability, causing the driver to easily lose control.

Keys to ATV safety

  • Always wear a helmet with eye protection and other protective clothing, including long-sleeve shirts, long pants, ankle boots and gloves.
  • Choose the ATV that is the right size for the operator’s age.
  • Always follow the ATV manufacturer’s minimum age requirements warning labels.

ATV injury risk reduction

  • Be aware of and enforce manufacturer’s warning labels including minimum age requirements and single rider.
  • Never allow anyone under 16 years old to operate a full size ATV.
  • Always supervise children under 16 years old on ATVs.
  • Operate ATVs on only trails and at an appropriate speed.
  • Be a good example — always demonstrate safe riding behavior and always wear proper protective equipment and clothing.

Safety courses

Every rider should take a hands-on safety course. Find a safety course near you: