Driving your children to school is not always the best part of the day. Your kids may be grumpy, you might be groggy -- and so is everyone else on the road! But that's not a reason to skimp on seat belt safety. As a parent, your primary responsibility is the safety of your kids -- and in a car, that means always using seat belts the right way.
Here is some excellent advice for any parents who want to keep their kids safe with proper safety belt usage:
Seat belts and car seats: Most car seats secure themselves with a seat belt. When children are two years of age and below, they should use a rear-facing car seat. From the age of 2 to approximately 5, you'll want to have a forward-facing car seat. In fact, many car seats are reversible and will grow with your child.
Booster seats for younger children: A booster seat is going to be the go-to option when your child reaches approximately the age of 5. A young child like this should not sit in a car without a booster seat due to the way the seat belt will rest across their body. You'll want your child to continue to use the booster seat option until the seat belt fits them appropriately. Keep your children in the back seat at this age to prevent injury from airbags.
Seatbelts for older children: When your child has reached 57 inches in height, they are ready to use a normal seatbelt. Make sure that the lap belt portion goes across their lap instead of the stomach. Also, the shoulder belt must go across the shoulder instead of the neck. At this point, your child may also ride in the front seat as the airbag will be safe for them.
Kids are easily distractible and so are adults for that matter. However, as an adult, you must remain attentive to your kids in the car and whether they are wearing their seat belts. Some children will remove their seat belts while the car is in motion, so you should keep a general eye on them and discipline them appropriately if they unrestrain themselves.
If you get into a serious car accident and your children get hurt -- in spite of all your efforts to stay safe -- you might want to determine whose fault the accident was. A better understanding of personal injury law will help you in this regard.