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School’s Cool When You Have a Safe Car Pool

I’m laughing at my title today – must have had a little too much coffee! Hope it made you laugh.

In all seriousness, with kids going back to school and new traditions starting it’s a great time to set expectations for your child’s car pool. Whether you are the driver or trusting your child with someone else on the way to school make sure to set guidelines for all drivers and kids involved with your car pool.

Hopefully it goes without saying that every driver should have a I have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance.  Make sure all drivers agree that they will never drive under the influence or alcohol or drugs. I would add that drivers shouldn’t be under the influence of cell phone and other texting devices as well.

Here are some additional tips from Safe Kids Greater Dayton and Dayton Children’s to make sure kids are super safe in car pools:

  • Plan your route so children can enter and exit the car on the curbside.
  • At each stop, check that everyone is buckled up before putting the car back in gear.
  • When dropping off children, wait until they are safely supervised before driving off.
  • Never leave children alone in the car, even for a few minutes. 
  • Make it a rule that everyone younger than 13 rides in a back seat. This is the safest place for preteens and younger children to sit.
  • If a child younger than 13 must sit in a front seat, disable the airbag if the child does not meet the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Every child must have a safety belt. Sharing seat belts is not safe.
  • Don’t allow children to wear shoulder belts under their arm or behind their back.
  • Treat unused seat belts like any other cord. Remind kids not to play with them.
  • If high spirits get out of control, let your riders know you can’t drive safely when you are distracted. Pull the car  over until they have calmed down.
  • Walk completely around the car looking for kids, toys and pets before entering the car and starting the engine.

 Remember, children younger than 8 and under 4’9″ tall are also required to ride in a booster seat on every trip!

Happy car pooling!




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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.