Planes, trains and automobiles: Tips to travel safe this holiday

- The holiday season is here, and during this busy travel time the risk of danger increases. 

Joann Moss, safety expert from Children's Hospital of Michigan, joined us in studio with some advice to make our holiday travels safer. 

On the Road 

  • Whether you are traveling in the neighborhood or hitting the road for a long trip, the most important thing to remember is: every passenger, from the youngest to the oldest needs to be properly buckled-up.  
  • Children need to be in a child safety seat appropriative for their age, weight and height until the adult vehicle seat belts fit them correctly, typically when they reach about 4 feet 9 inches tall, which usually occurs between 8 and 12 years of age.   
  • Children are safest in the back seat until they are 13 years old.   
  • Every child tall and old enough to sit in vehicle seat belts, as well as teens and adults need to be buckled-up, in the front and back seat, EVERY time the car moves.  It is never safe to have more passengers than seat belts or to share seat belts.   
  • Anything that is not restrained in a crash will become a projectile. Stow loose items in the truck/cargo area. 

On the Greyhound  

  • Many Greyhound buses come equipped with seat belts that have both lap and shoulder belts. You can use these with your own car seat, as long as it has been approved for use in a motor vehicle, and is used according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

In the Sky  

  • Proper use of an approved child restraint system provides protection for a child during turbulence and enhances child safety in the rare event of an accident. All parents that plan trips that involve air travel and car seat age children begin their planning by asking the same question: "Do we rent a car seat or bring our own?"  There isn't a concise answer to that question, but here's a little food for thought: 
  • If you take your car seat, you will have it when you get where you are going, but it's a hassle.  
  • Car rental and transportation companies offer a variety of options to assist parents traveling with car seat age children. Check with the companies in your destination city because policies vary from city to city.  
  • If you purchase a seat for your child, you can use an FAA-approved car seat in certain seats on board the plane. But, be warned---not all car seats will fit the plane seats---Do your research!  
  • Most airlines will let you check one car seat free. But, be warned again-don't expect them to handle it carefully, so it could get damaged! 
  • Booster seats can never be used on a plane.  
  • Children age 1 and older, weighing between 22 - 44 pounds can use a CARES (child aviation restraint system), an FAA approved harness type child safety device which is easy to carry and installs on the plane seat in minutes. However, a CARES harness can ONLY be used on a plane, so you will need a car seat when you get where you are going.   
  • There are a lot of things to consider-do your homework and Safe Travels, Bon Voyage, Aloha… 

For more safety tips, go to www.childrensdmc.org/KIPP
 

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