Set against the backdrop of the beautiful San Franciso Bay Area, yesterday I joined a group of powerful women to be a part of the Nissan Presents The Bloggin’ Mamas Safety Academy.
Set in the beautiful setting of Mersea Restaurant on Treasure Island located under the Bay Bridge came a chance to test out the newest line of Nissan’s but more importantly amidst the laughter and conversation and catching up was a powerful dialogue and educational seminar put on by our friends at Nissan about the most important topic of all and that is how to keep our precious cargo safe-our children-when they are in the car.
The statistics for children’s deaths from being left in a hot car or the improper buckling or placement of a car seat, or not using a car seat at all are sobering ones and in so many cases, they didn’t have to happen. Let that sink in a moment-THEY DIDN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN-in more cases than not, these deaths are preventable and through education platforms and the latest in technology, Nissan is doing something about it.
Did you know that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
1) 59% children’s car seats are used incorrectly.
2) Leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 years of age are car crashes.
The tips are SO SIMPLE, that we shouldn’t need reminders but in the hopes of that even one life is saved, here are some very easy to implement things to keep in mind that every parent, grandparent, and relative needs to keep a mental checklist of when transporting our children and that means from birth until they meet the legal requirements to safely use a seatbelt.
MAKE SURE EVERYONE IN THE CAR IS BUCKLED UP AND SAFELY SECURED IN THEIR SEATS!
This seems like such a no-brainer and something that we shouldn’t even have to think about-but the simple fact is we just make sure that everyone in our cars has their seatbelts on, or is properly secured in child safety system we could reduce the risk of serious crash-related deaths and injuries by 50-percent.
I know sometimes it seems like such an inconvenience to lug that booster seat around, or trade it from car to car, especially as our children get older but ii is even more important than ever for kids to be in a car seat or booster until they meet the height and weight requirements and once they meet those legal requirements, make sure that they, along with the adults in the car are buckled up! People are more likely to be injured in a car accident due to not having the proper restraints. An extra moment or two can mean the difference of walking away from an accident or not, should that time ever come.
NO DISTRACTED DRIVING-Keep Your Eyes On The Road!
The first thing you think of when you hear “Don’t drive distracted” is texting or being on your phone or both-right? But No Distracted Driving is so much more than that. It means teaching your children that when you are driving, that they have to do their part by not asking for help in finding something that they dropped or being not “interacting to the point of distraction” with their siblings or the hundreds of other things that happen when your kids are we you in the car.
Did you know that facts have shown that our children can be 12 times more distracting to the driver than talking on a cell phone while driving? If you’ve ever driven with kids of any age in the car, that probably doesn’t come as a surprise but putting it in terms of that is also a form of distracted driving, enables you to help make changes right now. It is never too early for children to learn that when we are driving, as much as we’d love to look at what they are doing or find the lid to the cup that they just dropped, it can wait, and we will all be safer for it.
The Nissan Snug-Kids Program-The Easy To Use Guide For Proper Car Seat Installation And Use:
Way back in the day, it felt like I needed an engineering degree to properly install a car seat, booster seat or properly place a seatbelt, but with today’s advances, and the best and latest in easy to use guides and technology from automobile makers such as Nissan, installing your child’s safety restraint is now as easy as 1-2-3! Nissan makes it easy for you with the Nissan’s Snug-Kids program.
Snug Kids, an industry-first program. Safety engineers spent thousands of hours testing and evaluating child restraint systems (CRS) by installing hundreds of CRS into rear seats Nissan Vehicles and you can find exactly what you need for your make of Nissan and car seat simply by clicking here for the complete Snug Kids Guide for Nissan vehicles. To secure a car seat in place, use EITHER the lower anchors or a seat belt-and something I didn’t know, you don’t need to, nor should you, use both! If you decide that using the seatbelt is the best option for you and your child be sure to check your car manual for instructions as shoulder-belt locks and lap-belt locks work differently.
With a forward-facing car seat, use a tether if one is available. Once installed, the car seat should have about an inch of movement. Did you know that having a seat that is too loose is the number-one mistake parents make with installing a car seat? Again, a little education goes a long way.
How Old Does A Child Need To Be To Graduate To A Seatbelt?
So what is the right age for your child to graduate from a car seat to a booster seat to a seat belt? The answer is, it is NOT the age of the child but their height and weight that determines when your child can safely ride in a car with a seat belt. Car seats have been created to best protect children depending on the size of a child, not the age. The NHTSA’s charts offer the latest requirements to help guide parents find the best car seat for your child depending on the size of their child.
Did You Know That Car Seats Have Expiration Dates? Neither Did I!
It never once occurred to me that car seats, like everything else, had expiration dates, or at least a suggested time frame as to when it was time to stop using them. I am one of those moms whose kids span 3 decades and now I almost hate to admit that yes, I used the same car seat for the last 3 kids (keep in mind the last 2 had a 14 year age gap in between them ) because it never even crossed my mind that car seats, like everything else, could wear out and break down.
Now I know that car seats do indeed come with expiration dates, as the integrity of the plastic from which the seats are made is lost. These expiration dates are usually 6 years from the date of manufacture. Before heading out on the road check for the expiration date. We also learned that if your car seat has been in a car that was involved in an accident, it’s a good idea to replace it then as well.
Check For Car Recalls-The Life You Could Save May Be That Of Your Family
We’ve all had the postcards come in the mail, or the phone call for the dealerships letting us know that there is a recall on our call-take the time to take the car in and get your car fixed! These are free and no one wants to be stranded out in the middle of nowhere, or worse.
Even better, be proactive and check periodically to see if there has been a recall on your car. It’s simple and easy to do! Just visit http://nhtsa.gov/recalls and use your vehicle’s VIN to see if there are any open recalls for your vehicle. It only takes a moment to check and the peace of mind it will give you will be well worth it.
MOST IMPORTANTLY ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS CHECK THE BACK SEAT WHENEVER YOU EXIT YOUR CAR-ALWAYS!
We’ve all heard the heartbreaking stories or the weary parent that for whatever the circumstances unknowingly forget that their child is in the back seat of the car or leaves a child in the car “just to run in for a moment to the store” and returns to tragedy. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO HAPPEN!
With summer temperature skyrocketing, it only takes a matter of moments for your child to perish from heat and even on overcast days, temperatures inside of a closed vehicle can skyrocket faster than imaginable. Don’t let this happen to you! Get in the habit of ALWAYS opening the back door to double check-even if you don’t have your child with you. If you do put your child in their car seat in the back, put a shoe or a purse, or something else important back there to remind you to check! Isn’t the life of your child worth it?
Yesterday in honor of National Heat Stroke Prevention Day, we were among the first to learn of the all new Rear Door Alert Technology which is now standard on the Nissan 2018 Pathfinder and will become a standard feature on all models over the next few years and reminds drivers to check the back seat and help reduce potential heatstroke incidents. Originally developed by two mothers who are also engineers, Rear Door Alert reminds owners to check the rear seat upon exiting their vehicle by using a series of distinctive honks as the driver walks away from the vehicle.
Nissan is the first automaker to use a honking horn as an alert for this type of feature. We were lucky enough to see it in action yesterday and when the driver walked away from the car without opening the back door, the horns alerted the driver within seconds. This is revolutionary technology and who knows how many lives will be saved in the future.
Thank you to Nissan and thank you for Bloggin’ Mamas for a day of fun and education by sharing with all of us such important yet easy to implement safety tips for keeping our most precious cargo safe-our children. Looking for a new vehicle that makes keeping your family safe and secure? Be sure to check out the wide variety of Nissan automobiles where you will find the perfect car for you and your family.