Materials for this week:
Take-home points for this week:
- As pediatricians, we must advocate for car seat and seatbelt use EVERY TRIP EVERY TIME. Most crashes occur on the day-to-day driving routes.
- We should know recommended car seat types for children of different ages and sizes. (See the AAP report). Basic summary:
- Rear-facing 5-point harness carseat until reach weight limits (up to about age 4, previous recommendation was at least age 2).
- Once forward facing, use a car safety seat to that seat’s weight and length limits (typically about 60 pounds).
- When they exceed the seat’s limits, use a convertible belt-positioning booster seat (high back is preferred) until they have reached at least 4’9″, typically between ages 8-12.
- Until age 13, always sit in rear seats in full lap and shoulder belt.
- Teen driving is the most dangerous time for teens in terms of risk of injury and death. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of teen death. We can make it safer through driving contracts and graduated driver’s licenses (see the teen driving contract and state Graduated Driver’s Licences GDL laws).
- Distracted driving for teens and adults is a major issue and has increased with ubiquitous texting. It is now the law in our state to not use a phone or text while driving, and parents must be role models. Parents should use “chauffeur” time as catch up/phone down time for parent AND child.
- Review safe and active travel options. Encourage families to use the bus to navigate around the city for a weekend expedition. Use resources like One Bus Away, Metro transit route guide, and Google maps. Walking and biking to school are great and allow kids to be active, but kids must be visible and be safe. Check out Walking School Bus resources for local schools. When crossing the street, stay alert and put phones down!