For many drivers, keeping child passengers safe means finding the right car seat and using it properly. Car seats are indeed critical for pint-sized passengers, but there are other safety measures to consider.

Loose items

Hazard: If you’re in a crash, the force of the impact can throw you and your passengers back and forth—and it does the same thing to loose objects in your car. These items can become projectiles with the potential to cause injury.

Precaution: Make sure items like soda cans, cellphones, purses or gym bags, coolers and even pets are restrained—for everyone’s safety.

Power windows

Hazard: Children can be injured when a power window closes on a finger, wrist or hand.

Precaution: Make sure kids’ hands, feet and heads are clear of windows before you raise them. Teach children not to play with window switches or stand on armrests. If possible, lock power windows so children can’t play with them.


Hazard: A child left in a car can suffer heatstroke at almost any time of year. Temperatures in a car can rise quickly, with most of the heat building up in 15 to 30 minutes. This quiz can help you learn more about heatstroke.

Precaution: Check the back seat before you exit the car. To be sure you remember to remove your child from the car, keep a toy in the car seat when it’s empty and move the toy to the front seat to be a visual reminder telling you that the car seat is occupied.

Keep your little ones safe with this car seat guide.

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Safety belts

Hazard: A child can become entangled in a safety belt if they extend it and wrap it around their head, neck or waist.

Precaution: Keep children properly restrained, and teach them that safety belts are not toys. Make sure that unused safety belts are retracted or buckled and locked.


Hazard: Giving kids snacks while you’re driving can be risky—especially when they are little. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children from 6 months to 3 years old are at the highest risk for choking.

Precaution: When you’re driving, avoid giving a child foods such as nuts and seeds; chunks of meat, cheese or raw vegetables; whole grapes; hard or stick candy; popcorn; and gum. And keep nonfood choking hazards away from young children, too.

This story was featured in the
September/October 2021 issue of AAALiving Magazine

Find More Info on Child Safety

From car seat inspections to school safety patrols, AAA educates the public about how to keep children safe on the roads and off.

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