More than 43 million Americans travelled for Thanksgiving
last year and 90 pc of them did so by car. Now with the travel season in the
offing, Toyota has come out with a lot of tips to keep your children safe in
their cars. Though this is a global press release, at Motown India we feel that
these tips are very much applicable for Indian children too. India has an
abysmally poor record when it comes to children travelling in cars.
In a majority of cases in India, children travel seated in
the laps of their mother or their grandparent who in turn is seated in the
front seat next to the driver. Child seats are seldom bought and fitted in cars
Now coming back to what Toyota has to say about child
safety. Buckle Up for Life, the national child passenger safety programme from
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota, released several top
safety tips to help keep child passengers safe during the holidays.
TIP #1: Use the Inch
Test and the Pinch Test.
Before your family heads out on the road for the holidays –
even if you are travelling a short distance – double-check that your car seat is
installed properly. One can access easy
ways to check this, including the Inch Test and the Pinch Test, at
TIP #2: Remove Your
Child’s Winter Coat.
Before securing your child in their seat, remove their
winter coat. A coat can prevent the harness from fitting correctly. It also
could compress in a crash, compromising the seat’s ability to protect your
TIP #3: Traveling By
Plane? Check Your Seat for FAA Approval.
If your child plans to sit in their car seat on a plane, make
sure the seat is approved by the FAA. An approved car seat will fit in the
airplane seat properly and its harness will hold your child securely in the
event of turbulence. Information about your car seat’s FAA approval can be
found on the side of the car seat.
Don’t Rent a Car Seat.
If you are renting a car, use your own car seat. When you
rent a seat you don’t know important facts about its history that could affect
its ability to protect your child (e.g., expiration date, crash history, etc.)The
good news is that most airlines allow you to check your car seat for free.
TIP #5: Secure Holiday “Extras” in the Car.
Make sure that all gifts, luggage and other objects are
tightly secured in your vehicle. These objects could become projectiles in the
event of a crash. Also, if you are traveling with your pets, make sure they are
properly restrained as well.
“These tips may seem
simple, but they are critical for families to keep in mind - whether you’re
traveling far this holiday season or staying local with friends and family,”
said Gloria DelCastillo, child passenger safety expert at Cincinnati Children’s
and national program manager for Buckle Up for Life. “Our goal is for every
child to be safe – this holiday season and year round,” she said.