Parenting a tween involves compromise. But here’s one rule that should not be up for debate – the car doesn’t move until everyone is wearing a seat belt. If you say it, and if parents buckle up themselves, your tween will buckle up. And if they don’t, that’s a fight worth having. It might just save your tween’s life.
One child passenger age 8 – 14 is injured every 8 minutes in a car crash. From 2009 – 2013, 1,522 kids ages 8-14 died in car, SUV and van crashes. Of those who died, almost half were unbelted. As children get older they’re sometimes less likely to buckle up. The percentage of child passengers who die while riding unrestrained generally increases with age and is most pronounced among 13 and 14-year-olds regardless of seating position.
We fully support the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to ask for your support of the Seat Belt Safety campaign, which asks parents of children ages 8-14 to make sure their kids are consistently and properly wearing their seat belt every time they get in the car.
Buckling-up is an important habit to instill in children at a young age. Parents can lead by example by wearing a seat belt themselves and by insisting on seat belt use for every passenger in their vehicle. Seat belts and safety seats, if used correctly, dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury to children.