Don’t leave children unattended in the car even for a minute
VEHICLE SAFETY TIPS
IN AND NEAR CAR
· A: Avoid heatstroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. And make sure to keep your car locked when you’re not in it so kids don’t get in on their own.
· C: Create reminders by putting something in the back of your car next to your child such as a briefcase, a purse or a cell phone that is needed at your final destination. This is especially important if you’re not following your normal routine.
· T: Take action. If you see a child alone in a car, call 911. Emergency personnel want you to call. They are trained to respond to these situations. One call could save a life.
· We know you’re often in a hurry, but before you drive away, take a few seconds to walk all the way around your parked car to check for children.
· Designate a safe spot for children to wait when nearby vehicles are about to move and make sure the drivers can see them.
· Accompany little kids when they get in and out of a vehicle. Hold their hands while walking near moving vehicles or in driveways and parking lots or on sidewalks.
· Make sure to lock your vehicle, including doors and trunk, when you’re not using it. Keep keys and remote entry fobs out of children’s sight and reach.
· Teach kids that trunks are for transporting cargo and are not safe places to play.
· Show older kids how to locate and use the emergency trunk release found in cars manufactured after Sept. 1, 2001. Very young children may not have the strength or ability to open the release bar.
· Keep rear fold-down seats closed to help prevent kids from climbing into the trunk from inside your car.
· If your child is missing, get help and check swimming pools, vehicles and trunks. If your child is locked in a car, get him or her out as quickly as possible and dial 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to evaluate and check for signs of heatstroke.
· Walk with your kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives. Tell kids to stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches and board the bus one at a time.
· Teach kids to wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting off and never to walk behind the bus.
· If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should take five giant steps in front of the bus, make eye contact with the bus driver and cross when the driver indicates it’s safe. Teach kids to look left, right and left again before crossing the street.
· Instruct younger kids to use handrails when boarding or exiting the bus. Be careful of straps or drawstrings that could get caught in the door. If your children drop something, they should tell the bus driver and make sure the bus driver is able to see them before they pick it up.
· Drivers should always follow the speed limit and slow down in school zones and near bus stops. Remember to stay alert and look for kids who may be trying to get to or from the school bus.
· Slow down and stop if you’re driving near a school bus that is flashing yellow or red lights. This means the bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red), and children are getting on or off.
- Don’t Drink or text and Drive: Car crashes are the leading cause of death for US teens, according to the CDC. In fact, 12 kids age 16-19 die every day from accident-related injuries. Dangerous driving behaviors—like drinking (obviously), but also texting/calling, and having multiple passengers in the car—play a big role in these shocking numbers. Lead by example—don’t let your kids see you fumbling around in your purse to answer your ringing phone when you’re at the wheel.
- Tell your kids that it’s OK to worry: And make sure your kids know that you’re there for them. Check in with your kids frequently about whatever may be going on—whether it’s bullying, virus fears or someone losing a job—to see how they’re feeling, and explain how your family is dealing with it.
- Teach your child to love his/her body: Studies routinely find that about 40% of elementary school girls and 25% of elementary school boys are dissatisfied with their bodies. Unhappy and self-conscious kids report more frequent feelings of depression, insecurity, and anxiety. Thwart unhealthy body image and counter the media images that bombard your kids by talking to them.
- Help them get sleep: More than 25% of the kids surveyed (between 11 and 17 years old) had one or more symptoms of insomnia—and were much likelier to use drugs, experience depression, or have problems with school work, jobs and perceived health. Set a technology curfew with your kids, and make sure they understand why. Shut off the TV and have your children stop using phones and computers at least an hour before bed.
- Be smart about the web: If your kid’s active online, ask to see her social network profile(s)—and tell her not to post anything that you, a teacher, or a college recruiter shouldn’t view.
- Maintain an open line of communication so the big chat isn’t such a big deal. If your kid comes to you and asks about sex, turn the question back, and ask her what she knows, or what she means, by the term. Also reiterate family values into conversations about intimacy and sex.
- Value Friendship: It’s not about being the most popular kid on the playground. Having one or two best friends is more closely correlated with staving off depression and loneliness than is overall popularity.
- Be grateful: Research suggests that grateful people have more energy and optimism, are less bothered by life’s hassles, are more resilient in the face of stress, have better health, and suffer less depression than the rest of us.