Most parents want to protect their children in every aspect of their lives. They want to make sure their child is safe at home, in school or out in the neighborhood. However, most parents also have to consider car safety for their kids.

Before you protect your child in the car, it’s critical to consider the risks for a kid in a vehicle or how that affects their safety.

Risky business for children

According to the Stanford Children’s Hospital, motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of childhood death in the United States, with over 1,300 children under the age of 14 dying in a car accident in 2009. A majority of those fatalities connects to either improper car seats or improper use of a seat belt.

Many younger children will sit in a car seat until they hit the proper age and weight. However, some children will transition out of their seats too early or will not be properly buckled into their car seats. The same is true for older children who refuse to put on their seat belts or try to sit in the front seat when they aren’t old enough.

Both behaviors increase the risk of injuries among children in the case of a car crash.

Prevention tactics

Luckily, there are ways to ensure the protection of your child while driving:

  • Check the installation of any car seat – Parents should double-check any time they install or re-install a car seat into their vehicle to ensure the seat is properly set up and the child is secured in the vehicle.
  • Make sure they have the right seat for their height – Most experts recommend focusing on a child’s height and weight to determine when to change the type of car seat you use instead of age. You can use age as a rough indicator of when to move from car seat to booster to just a seat belt.
  • Communicate proper etiquette to your kids – Along with implementing seat belts and car seats, teach your kids how to be safe in the car, including minimizing distractions and keeping seat belts on at all times.

Implementing these tips give you and your family the highest possibility of safety in an accident, but if there is a car crash, make sure to seek medical attention for everyone involved. There is no point in waiting for medical treatments.