I was running out for lunch the other day and I noticed something during my trip that I thought I needed to write about.
Let me first start by saying that in the late 80’s automakers began installing airbags in cars for safety reasons, and there’s no doubt that over the past 30 years airbags have saved thousands of lives.
However, it is important to note that airbags are designed to protect average-sized adults…not young children. I know we’ve all heard it, but airbags can pose a serious risk to children who ride in the front seat.
In fact, according to research conducted by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “children exposed to airbags during a crash are twice as likely to suffer a serious injury”. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “children under the age of 13 are safest seating in the back seat of a car”.
The following are some safety guidelines for children riding in a car.
- Infants seated in a rear-facing safety seat should never be placed in the front seat of a car that has an airbag – When the airbag engages, the force of the airbag is directed right at the infant’s head as it comes out of the dashboard.
- Children seated in a forward-facing child should not be placed in the front seat of a car that has an airbag. – Again when the airbag engages, the child’s head is in the path of the airbag as it emerges from the dashboard.
- Remember for children 13 and under: The safest place to be in a car is the back seat.
- For children ages 13 and up riding in the front seat remember:
- All children should wear a lap/shoulder belt.
- Move the front seat as far back as possible from the dashboard.
- Make the sure the child doesn’t lean forward.
- Have the child sit upright against the seat at all times.
Note: Engineers are constantly improving airbags to improve safety. Known as 2nd-generation or de-powered airbags, these airbags are still NOT designed for children. Children are best protected in the rear seat.
If you have any questions about child safety in your vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact me at Freeman Grapevine. You can even swing by, and we’ll show you thee proper way to install your child safety restraint systems.