As a parent, when you drive your child or preteen you are responsible for ensuring your child is riding as safely as possible. Do you make sure all drivers transporting your children are held to the same standards?
Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old. When the stakes are so high it’s important to be cautious about anyone who transports your precious cargo.
But how do you know whether someone has thought through all the steps of carpool safety?
It can be uncomfortable to ask the tough questions you may need to ask to make sure your child or preteen is as safe as possible in every car, but asking the right questions of anyone who drives your child is key in keeping them safe on the go.
What can parents do?
Discuss this checklist with all other adults transporting your child and make sure you can answer “yes” to all of these questions as well.
Safe driver checklist for carpools:
- I have a valid driver’s license
- I have auto insurance
- I do not carry weapons in the car
- I will not allow a teenage driver to substitute for me when I am supposed to drive the carpool
- I will not drive if I have had any alcohol or drugs that impair driving
If you share driving with others, check that all drivers involved know about general carpool safety.
Perhaps the most important safety tip, however, is to trust your instincts – and teach your kids to trust theirs. If you feel uncertain about a driver, find other transportation for your preteen. And let your child know it’s always OK to tell you or another adult if they feel unsafe riding with a particular driver.
Since 1993, Pam has served in many roles at Dayton Children’s including staff nurse, preceptor, charge nurse and now Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Emergency Department. She is very involved in committee work at Dayton Children’s and is an active participant on Code Committee, Bereavement, IMPACTS, Practice Education, Trauma PI, Medication Error, APN council and several unit-based committees. In addition to her contributions at Dayton Children’s, Pam provides in-services around the community related to pediatric care and procedural pain management. She is an active member of the Emergency Nurses Association and was among the first group of nurses to receive the Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurses certification (CPEN). Since receiving this certification, she has mentored eleven other nurses to sit for the certification exam.