Child car safety rule #3: Don't play in or around cars
Many things can go wrong when children play in or around cars: they could get run over while playing underneath it, they could put it out of park and end up in a runaway car, they could lock themselves in the trunk and suffocate, they could strangle themselves by playing with the automatic windows. Talk with kids about these dangers, and teach them that cars are not something to play around with.
* Print a Don't play in the trunk car safety coloring sheet for your kids
* Print a Don’t play around cars safety coloring sheet for you kids
Child car safety rule #4: If a driver appears drunk, don’t get in the car
Drunk drivers have existed for as long as there have been cars, and children have always been injured and killed by them in masses. Yet in recent years we've seen a troubling uptick in substance abuse or alcohol problems among soccer moms or other seemingly ordinary parents. We've also witnessed numerous instances where children have lost their lives riding in the car with another parent or caretaker who was shuttling a group of kids around while intoxicated. Considering that alcoholics and those with substance abuse problems are several thousand times more threatening to the children in our community than the registered sex offenders people seem irrationally preoccupied with, it's about time we start taking this threat seriously. So, teach your kids...
A) How a drunk person acts or what they behave like. Give them some examples - it can be a fun family experience taking turns acting out intoxicated behavior. Be sure to include subtle examples, such as slurring speech or dropping keys.
B) Teach them to be aware about their driver's drinking habits, and let them know how much is too much. Generally speaking, 3 or 4 alcoholic drinks will put someone over the legal limit for driving.
C) Reinforce the fact that adults aren't perfect, and that it's OK to disobey an adult respectfully if you know they are doing something they shouldn't. Tell children that if they have any doubt about whether an adult is sober enough to drive, they should not get in the car with them-at least not before explaining their concerns to a different adult and getting a second opinion.
D) If someone has been drinking and seems tipsy, teach children to respectfully say, "I don't think I should get in the car with you. I need to call someone else to get me home," or "you don't seem well enough to be driving." If it is just them alone with an adult, and that person is clearly drunk, tell them they should hide the keys beforehand and pretend they don't know where they are. Above all, let them know they won't be punished for trying to do the right thing.