While airbags have been shown to be incredibly effective at protecting adults from serious injuries in a crash, they pose significant dangers for younger passengers. Children under 13-years-old may suffer broken noses, bone fractures, burns and abrasions, and even fatal injuries as a result of being placed behind an airbag—so it is vital that parents consider the risks when placing their children in the car.
Ways to Keep You and Your Children Safe from Airbag Injuries
You can help reduce your risk of an airbag injury in your family by following these guidelines for:
- Everyone. Make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up—NO exceptions. The most important thing you can do to protect your children is to make sure they are all wearing their seat belts. Over 80 percent of passengers who have died as a result of an airbag injury were not wearing seat belts, so make sure your kids are buckled and wearing both their seat and lap belts.
- Children under age 12. All children under 12-years-old should ride in the back seat. Smaller children should be placed in a child safety seat that is appropriate for their height and weight. Never place a rear-facing child safety seat in any seat that has frontal airbags.
- Children over age 12. Children over 12-years-old may ride in the front seat if they stay securely buckled. If the child is short, you may adjust the seat as far back as possible or turn off the passenger’s side airbag.
- You. Adjust your seat so that you are at least 10 inches from the steering wheel. If you are pregnant, make sure your shoulder and lap belts are fastened correctly and the airbags remain on.
You can help other parents keep their kids safe on the road by sending them a link to this article via email or on Facebook. You never know whose life you could save with the click of a button!