Three vehicle dangers parents need to know

An accident is not the only way a child can be injured in a vehicle. Unfortunately, there are numerous dangers present in all vehicles, even when they are stationary. Learn what you can do to protect your children at all times.

Seat belts: While they are meant to keep passengers safe in an accident, seat belts can be dangerous for children if they are used improperly. You should ensure that your child is sitting in the correct position and using child car seats or booster seats as appropriate. In addition, children should not play with seat belts. If they pull a seat belt all the way out, they may become entangled in it. This is especially dangerous if they wrap the seat belt around the neck, head or waist.

Heatstroke: Leaving a child alone in a car is a bad idea, regardless of the circumstances. However, it is especially critical that you don't leave children in a hot car. A car's inside temperature can increase nearly 20 degrees in 10 minutes. When a child's core body temperature reaches 107 degrees, the situation is typically fatal. And while this sometimes happens when parents forget the child is in the car, it can also happen when unsupervised children get into a car to play. Nearly 30 percent of child heatstroke deaths occur this way.

Power windows: Most children love to play with power windows, but they can easily suffer injuries from doing so. Injuries to the wrist, hand or fingers are common if the window closes on them. In the worst cases, strangulation can occur. Make sure children know that the windows are not a toy. Look before you close a window to be certain that your child does not have their hands or head outside the vehicle. If your vehicle has power window safety features, be sure to use them.

Many dangerous situations such as these can occur when children are left unattended in a vehicle. Remember not to leave a child alone in a vehicle. It is also important to keep children out of unattended vehicles. Always lock your car and keep the keys where children cannot reach them.

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Fax: 205-879-1986