If anyone knows and understands the ins and outs of car seats, to boosters, to simply buckling up – its my family of 7. With 5 kids in different age ranges, we have some that still need to be in car seats, some in boosters, and some that hop in and buckle up. It is our job as parents to always be on the lookout for our children’s welfare, at least in the areas that we have control over.
Did you know that from 2011 to 2015, an estimated 343,000 children age 8-14 were injured while traveling in passenger vehicles, and an additional 1,692 children died? YIKES! A full 50% of those who died were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Those are sobering statistics and as a parent of children that fall into that age bracket, I can only imagine asking the question, “What if they had been buckled up?”
We have been drilling it into our kids since they were young about the importance of car seats and buckling up any time they get into anyone’s vehicle, so luckily, I don’t have to work very hard to convince them to be safe. It’s just expected. That expectation doesn’t mean I assume my kids are buckled up, I always check in the mirror and listen for the familiar click. I’ve also noticed that buckling up is not always automatic when we have friends in the car. I’m not afraid to require everyone in my car to buckle up and find that most kids are willing to do it when asked.
This spring, the Ad Council and NHTSA are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. By using the tagline “Never give up until they buckle up,” the PSAs let parents and caregivers know that even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation.
The new PSA features iconic characters from the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, as well as actors from the latest release in the movie series, The Long Haul. The movie chronicles a family’s misadventures throughout their summer road trip, which makes for a perfect fit with NHTSA’s road safety message.
I highly recommend that every parent take the time to check that their kid is buckled up and stays buckled up before hitting the road. Not only will it ease your peace of mind if an accident were to happen – but you know that if something does happen, they are safe.
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 conversion on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.