5 Things to Teach Kids About Cars and Keeping them Safe
Educating your child about taking care of themselves is what all good parents do. You also teach your kid how best to interact with the world and things around them. One area that is sometimes overlooked is car-safety. We will look at what you should tell your children about cars. We shall also explore how you can prepare your car to be safe for your kids.
Remembering to check your car for recalls and other simple things may make a world of difference in keeping your little ones as safe as possible.
The 5 Things Your Kids Should Know About Cars
You don’t have to be an expert yourself to teach basic car maintenance. Many tips can be found online on websites like YouTube. Step by step guides can show you what to do without you having to be a master mechanic. You can then teach the most basic of these tasks to your kids.
1. Basic Maintenance
What you teach your child can include:
• Checking and filling up the vehicle’s fluid
• Adding oxygen to the tires
• Reading the fuel gauge and speedometer
• How to replace filters
• Replacing the headlights
• How to check on and change the car oil
• How to change a flat tire, even on your own
These simple maintenance tasks will give your kid a life skill they’ll take into adulthood. But the real cherry on top is the great bonding experience you’ll develop as you interact with your child in this way.
2. Identifying Emergency Vehicles
Telling your kids how to identify emergency vehicles is another good piece of information. When a police car’s siren blares, it’s a good idea to tell your kids what to do when the police need to drive past.
You can also tell them about other important vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, and armored vehicles. You can find ways to teach your kids in a fun and interactive way. If you turn teaching moments into games, the lessons are likely to stick.
This is also a great time to teach them about emergency procedures. You can tell them that they are supposed to keep to the pavement for a firetruck and dial 911 for accidents and if they are hurt. It may seem frivolous but these lessons are invaluable for your kid’s well-being.
3. Teach Children about Cars & Money
You can use your car to also impart the value of money to your kids. Matters that you can explore with them include:
• Fees such as car payments
• Maintenance costs
• Tickets and fines
• Insurance premiums
Even adolescents may need these lessons. Not all adults are financially literate or responsible. Many grown-ups themselves struggle to understand the value of money.
This is why it’s all the more important to teach kids from a young, impressionable age. If your child can learn to manage their finances they can be equipped to manage the costs associated with maintaining a car later in life. A well-maintained car is basically a safe one.
4. Dangers of Driving
Statistically, teenagers are the most likely to be involved in a car accident. At 16 years old, kids are 40% more likely to be in a fatal crash as opposed to when they are 18 years old. Teaching them about the dangers can save their lives.
5. Rules of the Road
Beyond telling your kids how to safely cross a road, you may wish to inform of them of other rules of the road. This includes teaching them what drivers should and shouldn’t do while driving.
There are road rules to do with traffic signals and driving carefully. Explain the importance of obeying road rules so that every road user is safe. Inform them of certain rules regardless of their age.
This can help you abate the fears or concerns you may have for when they have full control of their own cars. Also, advise on “outside of the square” tips like whose car they are allowed to ride in (if you are not around), or what to do whenever they feel unsafe as a passenger.
Preparing Your Car for Your Kids
Just as we make our homes safe for our children, we also need to take some time to do the same with our cars.
Get the Right Car Seat
Before you get a car seat, consider doing an online search of what’s out there and what would be best for your child. One basic rule is that the best car seat for your child is the one that fits. That is, the car seat should fit your child, your car, and install correctly into place.
Wear a Seat-Belt
It is against the law for minors not to be strapped in their seat belt. Though sometimes easy to forget, this is a crucial way of ensuring your child’s safety every time they are commuting. It is crucial to teach them the necessity of staying buckled up. Seatbelts have been proven to prevent severe injuries and save countless lives.
This one is a major cause of car accidents. You should teach your kids how to avoid or manage distractions. For example, instruct your kids to never throw objects in the car to each other or at you.
They shouldn’t distract you or block your vision. Of course, calm and normal conversations can occur between drivers and passengers. However, causing agitation in any way can be a dangerous distraction. Emphasize how important it is for drivers to focus while driving.
Apart from ensuring your child does not throw objects in the car, it is worth considering whatever objects you have in the car, especially on the dashboard. In the event of an accident, these objects may become projectiles and cause injury to those in the car.
Find a secure place to store toys in your car to avoid such incidents. Secure other items in your car that could also move around and become a hazard. In some cases, it would be safer to store these items in the trunk of your car.
Maintenance and Routine Checks
Sometimes cars are recalled. Check your car for recalls to ensure you have a vehicle that keeps you and your children safe. Just like with regular health checks for yourself, servicing your car regularly is necessary.
Ensure you keep a handle on all the basics like good tire pressure, reasonable oil levels, and window washer fluid. Keeping a schedule for maintenance can promote the longevity of your car.
Whether it’s music that your kids enjoy, or books, games, or movies; our child will appreciate having entertainment on car drives. This would help your mood on long road trips and since your child is occupied, you can concentrate on driving. This all contributes to road and passenger safety.
Taking conscious steps to teach your child about cars is invaluable. Going further to prepare your car to be safe for them is equally so. One really important way to do this is to check your car for recalls. Following the tips in this article may not only save your kids’ lives but also equip them with the knowledge they need to drive safely when they are able to do so.