Last week, we discussed how your summer schedule can negatively impact your driving habits, and we suggested a few tips to keep in mind. However, your personal schedule change is not the only one affected. The majority of children and adolescents across the country are out of school and enjoying the season. Whether it be inside or outside your vehicle, here are some reminders to keep children safe during the summer months.
Child Safety in Your Vehicle
With parents still working while their kids are out of school, the need arises for someone to pick up their child or to watch them for the day. While it is great to help out in that manner, it is important to follow child safety regulations at all times. If you don’t have the proper car seat or booster seat, politely decline, even if the child will be in your car for just a few blocks. Most accidents happen within a few blocks of home. If you are a parent asking a friend to shuttle your child somewhere, provide the car seat to prevent the awkward position of having to decline. Remember, having a child in the car who is not properly restrained is not only dangerous to the child, but also illegal in the state of Texas.
Check Your Vehicle Before You Leave
Kids tend to be rambunctious when they are out of school, so your daily life may become a little chaotic. If they are focused on fun and activities, it is your responsibility to focus on safety. It is critical to always check your vehicle and driveway before leaving your home. Walk around your car to ensure that all tires are properly inflated, but also that no children or toys are in places where you can’t see them. Toys can both damage your vehicle and indicate that there is potentially an unseen child nearby. Additionally, just before you pull out of the driveway, take another look in your blind spots to verify the coast is clear. This daily routine could save a life and prevent a tragedy.
Take Your Child (and Elderly and Pets) Inside With You
The interior of a parked car gets hot quick! Stanford researchers found that temperatures inside of a parked car can rise an average of 40 degrees in half an hour. This temperature increase can happen even on a relatively cool 70 degree day or with the window cracked and the AC running. That means when it is 100 degrees outside within half an hour the inside of your car could be 150 degrees! These temperatures can be deadly especially to children, the elderly, and pets. Even if you are running inside for just a moment, it’s best not to risk having these individuals trapped in the car. Imagine this scenario: The kiddo is all settled in; you just forgot your coffee on the counter or you need to pop in the store for milk. You just run in and grab it quick. However, we all know how easy it is to lock our keys in the car, even when we are not rushing. Why take the risk? Why bet a life on it? Locking keys in the car is just one of the many examples of things that could go wrong in this situation. Why chance it?
Summer brings a time of excitement and adventure. Sometimes, summer means throwing the rule book to your life out the window and taking that dream vacation. However, some rules should always be followed. These reminders are good habits to maintain throughout the year. Keep these tips in mind, even on vacation, as you navigate your way through the hot summer months.
 Texas DPS: Child Safety Information
 Parked cars get dangerously hot, even on cool days, Stanford study finds