This is a donated post as part of a Bloggin’ Mamas Social Good campaign. All opinions expressed are our own. 

As parents who have been in car accidents, we know how important it is to be properly restrained inside a vehicle. We always put on our seatbelts and make sure our kids do too! Even when they got too big for their car seats, we made sure they had a booster seat. We’d hate for anything to happen to them because they were not safely secured in our car.

Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.

That’s why we want parents and caregivers to know about the importance of making sure their child is safely restrained—whether that’s selecting the right car seat for their child’s age and size, or making sure that older kids (8-14) always buckle their seat belts and sit in the backseat.

As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound.  This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs to address these important issues.  First, is the up to date car seat safety information like the tips found in the fun new video series “The Wide World of Car Seats.”

If you have ever installed a car seat, you know that it is not an easy task to master. Wouldn’t it be cool if we were cheered on for our parenting wins, like how we cheer on our own kids in sports? 

The right car seat can make all the difference in a motor vehicle crash. And car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old.  But despite their best intentions, many parents may not realize their child isn’t in the right seat.  For example, many parents move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon. To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat.

And just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, your child becomes a “tween” and you enter a whole new world.  To help with travel safety, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13).

Do your kids like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series as much as mine? Now you can even watch PSAs with them featuring their favorite characters, showing them the importance of buckling up and sitting in the back seat.  

My kids are 7 (going on 8) and 9, and no longer use booster seats because they are tall. Now that we don’t buckle them in, we have to make sure they buckle themselves up. My daughter usually belts herself in as soon as she gets in the car. However, my son usually requires more than one prompt to get his seatbelt on. In fact, he would not put it on if I did not make sure he did every time. Knowing the dangers of not having a seatbelt on, I am willing to make sure he puts his belt on…every….single….time….no…matter…how…frustrating…that…may…be. 

 

Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash.  Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”

For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp.  If you have a great tip, join the conversation on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.