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Child Safety Tips from Chevy Safety Engineer, Julie Kleinert


photo credit Chevrolet

Being that September is Baby Safety Month, we thought it would be a great time to share some child safety tips from Chevy Malibu Safety Engineer, Julie Kleinert. Julie is a mom herself and as the lead engineer responsible for child occupant protection, her job is to evaluate and develop the safety performance requirements for the vehicle restraint systems that will protect children who ride in the Malibu and other GM vehicles.

1. Follow the Latest Child Seat Best Practices: Keep kids in rear-facing child seats as long as possible, as it is the safest way for children to travel. Children more than two years old can sit in forward-facing seats or in rear-facing convertible seats as long as the child hasn’t reached the maximum child seat weight or height. Many forward-facing seats can help protect kids who weigh up to 50 to 85 pounds. Once your child outgrows their forward facing seat, use a booster seat to protect kids up to 100 pounds. Always make sure the car seat is properly adjusted and secured according to manufacturers’ instructions.

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2. Understand Your Vehicle’s Airbags: Remember that children who are up against or very close to any airbag when it inflates can be seriously injured or killed. Never put a rear-facing child restraint in the right front seat. It is also recommended to put all children under 13 years old in the rear seat as well. Check the owner’s manual to see where the airbags are located in your vehicle. 

3. Ensure Safety Belts are Fastened Properly:For children who have outgrown their booster seats, proper safety belt usage is critical. Show your child how to properly put on and take off a safety belt on their own. Make sure they know that the shoulder belt should always be worn in front of their chest, centered on the shoulder, and the lap belt should be snug and low on the hips, contacting the thighs, not the stomach.

4. Never leave your child alone in a vehicle, not even for a minute: Even on a cool day, the interior of a vehicle can quickly heat up to temperatures that can be dangerous for children, even with the window cracked open. A young child's body temperature can increase 3 to 5 times faster than an adult's, which can result in serious injury or even death if they are left in a hot vehicle. Teach children not to play in vehicles and keep parked vehicles locked with the keys out of reach. Always check your back seat before you leave the vehicle to make sure no one is left behind.

Some of these tips may be new to you and some may not be, but when it comes to safety, a refresher never hurts!

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