4 Summer Safety Tips for Kids and Cars

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The start of summer – that annual jubilee when your kids swap school clothes for swimsuits, and replace math tests with road trips. But before the celebration gets underway, every parent needs to take a quick refresher course on how to keep kids safe around cars.

More kids die as a result of injuries from motor vehicle accidents than from accidents related to riding a bicycle, being a pedestrian, or falling combined. Fatalities spike by 20 percent in the summer, making the period from May through August especially deadly.

Keeping kids safe in cars seems easy. Buy a car with strong crash test scores and accident avoidance technology. Put the kids in the back seat, use age-appropriate car seats and always make sure they buckle up. Follow those rules and your kids will always be safe, right?

A safe car, buckling up and car seats can certainly keep kids safe in car crashes, but the threat cars can pose to children’s health and safety doesn’t stop when you turn the car off. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 30,000 children age 14 and younger were injured in non-traffic incidents involving cars between 2008 and 2011. During that same period, more than 800 children 4 and younger were killed in non-traffic motor vehicle accidents. Non-traffic incidents are events that take place off public roadways, in driveways, parking lots and garages. The most common non-traffic incidents that injure or kill kids are backover accidents, frontover accidents, and heat stroke. 

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