By Chuck Mai, AAA
Do you know the best practices for traveling with children in your car? This quiz will test your knowledge.
1. Children should begin using adult seat belts in cars:
a. When they stop feeding with a bottle
b. When they can walk
c. By first grade
d. When they’re at least 4’9” tall, so seat belts can fit properly
2. The leading cause of death among U.S. children under 14 is:
a. Chicken pox
d. Car crashes
3. The safest place to position a rear-facing child safety seat is:
a. In the front passenger seat, so the driver can attend to the baby
b. In the back passenger-side seat, so the driver can reach the baby, if necessary
c. Directly behind the driver, so the child doesn’t distract him or her
d. In the back middle seat, which is the safest spot in the car
4. What percentage of child safety seats are NOT installed correctly?
5. The first child safety seat came out in 1962. What year did Tennessee become the first state to enact regulations regarding child safety seat use?
6. TRUE or FALSE: Children do not need to use booster seats if they’re riding to school in car pools.
How did you do? For questions 1-5, if you got “D” for each answer, you’re on the road to keeping all the kids in your car safe. For question 6, the answer is FALSE. Whether they’re in carpools or not, children must meet Oklahoma’s restraint requirements, which state:
• All children under age 6 must be properly restrained in a child passenger seat;
• All children age 6 through age 12 must be properly restrained in either a child passenger seat or the vehicle’s seat belt system;
• Plus, although it is not yet a state law in Oklahoma, AAA recommends children age 4 up to 4’ 9” tall ride in booster seats and not be restrained by the car’s seat belts. Your car’s seat belts are designed for adults and can actually do more harm than good to a child in the event of a crash.
Place children from birth to 2 years of age in rear-facing child car seats. For children 2-to 4-years-old, use front-facing child seats. Check the height and weight limits on child safety and booster seats before moving your child to the next level. Safety experts recommend all children under 13 sit in the back seat and away from airbags. Learn more at www.aaafoundation.org.
In addition to the above, Oklahoma law also states that seat belts are required for the driver and all front seat passengers age 13 and older. Enforcement of this law is primary, which means officers can stop violators for just that one offense alone.
I certainly don’t envy anyone who HAS TO be out in this heat. Just the opposite. I feel for them. It’s miserable out there.
It’s also very dangerous. When the heat is this extreme, it can take only a few moments for you to get in trouble.
Forecasters say we MAY see highs of “only” around 100 later this week. But until you see it, just hope for it. Right now, we’re looking at 110-plus.
You’ve most likely seen numerous stories in print, online, or on TV about the dangers of extreme heat and exposure to the sun. I’ve said before that if you have access to a computer, you can go to KNOWIT.NEWSOK.COM/SEVERE-WEATHER-OKLAHOMA for some vital information and good advice on beating the heat.
As one caller noted today, even his large box fan wasn’t helping all that much because it was just moving the hot air around and blasting him with it. That happens if the fan is in a non-shaded area or where there is no avenue to circulate cooler air.
Pay attention to heat advisory messages you hear on the radio or on TV. All news media are trying to get the word out about how to stay safe, stay hydrated and check on shut-ins and others who have need of assistance.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross, American Red Cross, Central and Western Oklahoma Region, has put out a list of Cool Zones you can visit to stay cool during the heat.
If you or someone you know needs help, here are places you can go to. Print them off and keep them handy. They could be lifesavers.
In Oklahoma City: http://www.oge.com/community/CommunityPrograms/Documents/OGE%20Cool%20Zones%206%2015%202012.pdf
Outside the metro area: http://www.oge.com/community/CommunityPrograms/Documents/Cool%20Zones%20outside%20OKC%20area.pdf
For more help, call the Red Cross office at 228-9581.