6 Things you didn't know about keeping your child safe in the car

6 Things you didn't know about keeping your child safe in the car

When we learn to drive, we're taught how to keep ourselves and other drivers safe on the road, but how do we best protect the passengers inside our cars, especially kids?

Here are some practical, easy tips you can use to keep your children safe while they're in a car.

1. Find the right seat

Kids grow up fast, so make sure they're always in the right car seat for their age, height and weight. Check out the Car Seat Finder to get tailored recommendations based on your child's age and size.

2. Get installation help

If you're installing a new car seat - or have just installed one - you can get help from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician near you. Find your local car seat check location at NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat

3. Take care with power windows 

Children can be injured when a window closes on their hands, wrists or fingers. Teach your child not to play with the window controls, and always check that their hands, feet, fingers and toes are clear of windows before raising them. If you have a power window lock, activate the switch so your child cannot adjust the windows themselves.

4. Don't play with seat belts 

A child within reach of a seat belt could become dangerously tangled in it, particularly if they pull it all the way out and wrap it around their head, waist or neck. To prevent this from happening, always ensure that your children are never left unattended in a car and teach them not to play with seat belts. Keep seat belts buckled when they're not in use.

5. Don't let children sit in the front seat

Regardless of their height and weight, kids under 13 should always ride in the backseat - buckled up, of course. In the event of a crash, air bags in the front can inflate at speeds of 200 to 400 miles per hour - making them highly dangerous to kids' developing bodies. Also, most crashes impact the front of the car, so the back seat is the safest place for kids.

6. Watch out for trunk dangers

If your child has a chance to explore your vehicle, they probably will! However, getting trapped in the trunk of a car can be a very serious business. Temperatures rise quickly in a car, which could lead to heatstroke. Keep car doors locked, teach your kids not to play in the trunk and make sure your car keys are out of their reach. The good news is that since September 2001, all automobile manufacturers are required to equip trunks with a glow in the dark release. Be sure to show your kids how to use this, in case of an emergency.

And those are some simples tips to keep your kid safe and secure in the car. High five!

For more car safety information, visit NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat and follow NHTSA (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) on Facebook (@NHTSA) and Instagram (@NHTSA).

This is a sponsored article in association with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Ad Council.