Tips to help kids stay injury-free during holiday travel

Holiday travel can be filled with a lot of fun memories for kids — road trips with the entire family, visits to their grandma’s and grandpa’s house and more. Before families hit the road this holiday season, Safe KidsLouisville, led by Norton Children’s Hospital,wants to remind parents and caregivers about some simple tips to keep kids safe while traveling.

Holiday travel brings a risk of injuries in a variety of areas. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States. Meanwhile, child safety seats used correctly can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71%.

“For many families, holiday time usually includes traveling to visit friends or relatives,so we want every family to know the simple things they can do to stay safe in and around cars,”said Kinzie Evrard, Safe Kids Louisville coordinator. “On the way to the destination, we want to remind families to think about things like proper seat belts, distractions on the road and weather concerns so that holiday travel will be fun and safe for the whole family.”

Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness

If you need help installing your safety seat or would like a certified car seat technician to check whether you’ve installed it properly, Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness offers year-round car seat checks. Registration is required.

Find a car seat check location

Safe KidsLouisville, led by Norton Children’s Hospital,recommends the following holiday travel tips:

  1. Everybody needs their own restraint. Make it a rule: everyone buckled, every ride, every time, whether it’s the long trip to visit family or around the block to the mall.
  2. If you are flying, take your car seat with you and use it on the plane. It will be a benefit to have it with you at your destination and when you travel to and from the airport. Let car rental companies know in advance if you need to rent a car seat or booster seat.
  3. Watch out for small kids and distracted drivers in parking lotsthat are busier than usual during the holidays.
  4. Remind your inexperienced teen driver to be extra alertduring the holidays, when people are more distracted and the weather can be tricky.
  5. Avoid distractions while driving. No text message or playlist is worth the risk of taking your eyes off the road. Set your GPS to voice-activated so you can concentrate on driving without having to look at your phone.
  6. Plan to use a driver or car service to make sure you get home safely if you drink alcohol.
  7. Keep car exhaust pipes clear of packed snowto avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  8. Secure loose objects. Put hot foods, large gifts and anything that could fly around in a crash in the trunk.
  9. In cold states, prepare for weather emergenciesby packing extra blankets, food and diapers. Keep your phone charged and make sure someone at your destination knows the route you are planning to take.

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