Seat Belt Safety Starts With Good Role Models
Learning the importance of wearing a seat belt starts with a good role model—and that's you. As a parent or caregiver, you are the number one influence on your child's seat belt safety. Research shows that children whose parents buckle up are much more likely to buckle up themselves.
Consistency is Key
Consistently remind your child to buckle up properly the whole ride, and never assume they're buckled up! Learn age-appropriate messages to motivate your tweens to buckle up
, and make it a rule in your family that everyone follows the same practices as you: Always buckle up before moving the car, no matter how short or routine the drive, and make sure all children are buckled up properly.
The Proper Seat Belt Fit for Your Child
The risk of injury among child passengers is significantly higher when their seat belts are loose and/or improperly positioned. Learn about the proper seat belt fit for your child
and why your children may not be wearing their seat belts correctly
Front or Back—When is the Front Seat Safe for My Child?
All children under age 13 should ride in the back seat for maximum safety. The back seat is the safest place for your children because most crashes occur in the front of the car and the back seat is farthest from this impact.
Why Parents and Caregivers Forget About or Forego Seat Belt Safety
We know life as a parent is full of distractions and often hectic, making it easy to forget about or forego buckling up altogether. See if any of these excuses for not buckling up sound familiar, then do whatever it takes to buckle up and make sure your kids do the same. >> See Excuses
- Rushed and chaotic pre-travel routines
- Need to minimize conflict or keep the peace
- Seat belt discomfort or perceived nuisance when in a hurry
- Shorter distances, slower speeds and familiar roads falsely associated with lower risk
- Kids persistently asking to ride in the front seat
From 2009 to 2013, nearly half of tweens who died traveling in passenger vehicles were not wearing seat belts.
The Bottom Line on Child Seat Belt Safety
In addition to the rush and distractions of life, kids will often challenge the rules, putting up a fight when it comes to wearing a seat belt properly or sitting in the back seat. Parenting requires a lot of compromise, but seat belt safety isn't up for negotiation. Follow these recommendations, and learn about the child passenger safety laws in your State
, which may include back seat requirements.
Remember: Never give up until they buckle up!