Seat Belt Safety as Important for Tweens as Infants
The saying “there has never been a more important time than now” really rings true for car seat and tween seat belt safety in the car. I have 5 kids of my own – so not only is this an important topic to ME but I also understand how difficult it can be sometimes to keep those kids in their seats and buckled up!
Did you know that from 2011 to 2015, an estimated 343,000 children age 8-14 were injured while traveling in passenger vehicles, and an additional 1,692 children died? A full 50% of those who died were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Those are sobering statistics and as a parent of children that fall into that age bracket, I can only imagine asking the question, “What if they had been buckled up?”
Never Give Up Until They Buckle Up
This is really an URGENT issue. Parents and caregivers NEED to know about the importance of buckling up! And like I said, I understand that this is easier said than done.
This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13).
My kids love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series so we can even watch the PSAs together—and I can remind them to buckle up safely, just like some of their favorite characters. Sometimes, a message from someone other than “mom” will get the importance of the issue across to kids. So these PSAs are really important.
We have had no shortage of talks in my family about the importance of keeping that seat belt ON, so luckily, I don’t have to work very hard to convince them to be safe. It’s just expected. That expectation doesn’t mean I assume my kids are buckled up, I always check in the mirror and listen for the familiar click. I’ve also noticed that buckling up is not always automatic when we have friends in the car. I’m not afraid to require everyone in my car to buckle up and find that most kids are willing to do it when asked.
Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”
For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp. If you have a great tip, join the conversion on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.