Is Your Child in the Right Seat?

Picture Source: http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/cps

Picture Source: http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/cps

Every 33 seconds, a child under the age of 13 is involved in a motor vehicle crash, making them the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. After hearing that statistic, you’d certainly take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of the passengers in your car.  On Saturday, September 23rd,  you’ll have that opportunity during National Car Seat Check Saturday.

These deaths and injuries can always be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.  Here is what you need to know to help you and  your passengers stay safe on the road at all times.

All children ages 12 and under should ride properly buckled up in the back seat of all motor vehicles at all times. Children should stay in booster seats until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly, both for children and adults the lap belt must lie across the thighs, never the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest, and never across the neck or face. Once children have reached the proper height and weight to use a seat belt, remember that for the best protection they should remain in the back seat until age 12.

For all children 2 and under, they should always ride in a rear-facing car seat that is placed in the back seat of the vehicle. A rear-facing car seat should never be  in the front seat or in front of an airbag. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat, if they are not the proper height, weight and age. Keeping a child in a rear-facing car seat is best until they reach the maximum height or weight limit allowed for that particular car seat. Once they outgrow a rear-facing car seat, your child is now ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. Roughly around ages 4-7, the child will outgrow the forward-facing car seat, and move to a booster seat, which is still placed in the back seat of the vehicle.

Safety Tips for Back to School

bigstock-Watch-Out-For-Children-427446As children across Middlesex County head #backtoschool this week, they will again be sharing the roads with school buses, other young pedestrians, and bicyclists.  Whether your children walk, ride their bike, or take the bus, help ensure they take the proper safety precautions​.

Children who walk to school:  When walking, stay on the sidewalk if one is available. If the street does not have a sidewalk, walk facing the traffic so as to have a clear view of the traffic.  When crossing a street,  look left, right and left again to see if any cars, buses, or bicyclists are coming.  If possible, make a point to set time aside to practice walking their route to school.  Together you can use pedestrians signals, ensure they are crossing streets correctly, and get a good idea of the path they are taking.

Children who bike to school: When riding a bike to and from school, children should always wear a proper fitted helmet and sneakers at all times. The same procedures apply when crossing the street.  Riders must come to complete stop, look left, right and left again, and always walk their bike across the street. Parents should practice and teach children the rules of the road to help insure they get to school safe and sound.

Children who ride the bus to school: Rain or shine, the big yellow bus gets the children to school. To ensure a safe ride to school, make sure children stand six feet away from the curb when a bus is pulling up or driving away. Remind children to fasten their seat belts and to remain seated throughout the ride.  While it’s exciting to chat with friends, children should keep  screaming and jumping for the playground and home so that the driver can focus on the road.

Regardless of how children make their way to school, we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable school year!

What a Wonderful Picnic!

picnicImagine feeling the breeze flow through your hair and the sunshine warming your face. Being outside soaking in all the wonderful sights and smells that it has to offer. Most importantly tasting all of the wonderful homemade family treats that you and your family savor the most. August is National Picnic Month, so we should all celebrate by planning picnics with our loved ones!

Gathering family and friends together at a nearby park and bringing your favorite foods will hit the spot. For a traditional picnic cold foods can be eaten, they are easy to store and always ready to go. Another option is to bring a small grill to prepare and cook your favorite warm foods. A great way to help you make your picnic an adventurous one is to take a hike along with it. If you’re already enjoying the weather and the outdoors, exploring nature while hiking can be fun for everyone.

A perfect place to celebrate national picnic month is Cheesequake State Park, which is located in Old Bridge in Middlesex County. The 11 acre park has plenty of space for picnics on the grass, hiking on its 5 different trails and everything in between. Each of its trails leads to different sights that will make your day a memorable one. If you don’t like to hike, bicycling is a another way to add to your picnic day. Besides it being great exercise, bicycling is also a form of transportation which can get you to and from the park safely.

This August make sure you remember your blanket, picnic basket, food/drink, hiking shoes, bikes and helmets to help make celebrating picnic month a great experience!

 

Avoid Tragedy During Prom Season!

Now that June is here, prom season is at it’s highest peak. It’s an event many teenagers diligently plan for months and eagerly await. However, all too often the excitement on prom night is overshadowed by a tragic event. IMG_7403

Vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for young people aged 12 to 19. On prom night, it can be a particularly dangerous time with so many teens on the road late at night. According to AAA, 87% of teens reported that their friends have driven after drinking rather than calling home for a ride, just on prom night alone. On prom night, friends may try to use peer pressure to entice you to have a drink or two, but be sure to think about the dangers that come with underage drinking. Too many tragic incidents have already taken place where underage drinkers have gotten into driving accidents — causing lifelong injuries, paralysis, and for many even death.

For parents, make prom safety just as important as the dress your daughter will wear or the style of your son’s tuxedo. Giving teens your advice will play an important role when discussing teenage driving tips that might prevent them from becoming a tragic statistic on their prom night. Some tips you should cover are:

  1. Limit the number of kids in the car and make sure all passengers (including the driver) are wearing their seat belts.
  2. Instill the importance of concentration behind the wheel. Being distracted behind the wheel is a major cause of vehicle accidents, but its something that is very easy to avoid. Put down the phone, don’t listen to loud music and be sure to focus on the road.
  3. Discuss the dangers of drinking/drug use and driving. There will always be peer pressure and temptation on prom night. Be sure to remind your teen that the number one killer of teenagers is car accidents caused from driving under the influence.

Prom night is supposed to be something special and night full of great memories. As a teen you have your entire future ahead of you, so make sure it doesn’t get ruined by one night.