While airbags can save an adult’s life in a crash, they can cause serious harm or even fatal injuries to children. Toddlers, infants, and preteens have suffered broken bones, burns, and even traumatic brain injuries due to the deployment of the airbags in a crash—and some are unable to recover from the trauma.
How to Prevent Children From Being Injured by an Airbag
In order to keep your kids as safe as possible, use these guidelines when placing your children in the car:
- Back seat. If your child is under 13 years old, he should always sit in the back seat. Infants and small children should be securely buckled in child safety seats. If your child outgrows his seat, you should upgrade to one that is appropriate for his height and weight. If you have only one child, the safest place for him to sit is in the rear middle seat, away from both the side impact zones and the side airbags.
- Front seat. Children 13 years old and older can ride in the front seat as long as the seat is placed as far back as possible, or the passenger’s side airbag is turned off. If the child is short or small for his age, he should continue to ride in the back seat.
- Driver’s seat. Pregnant drivers should take steps to protect the health of their unborn children. Slide your seat back to make sure you will not impact the steering wheel in a crash, always fasten both your shoulder restraint and your lap belt, and leave the driver’s airbag on.
- Everyone. The most important thing you can do to protect your child from crash injuries is to make sure that all children are buckled for every car ride. This means checking lap belts, shoulder restraints, and car seat buckles to make sure they are all fastened correctly.
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