Teaching your children to look both ways, not to talk to strangers and to be aware of their surroundings are all ways to keep them safe. The safety and protection of your children is always the highest priority. Since November is National Child Safety Protection Month, and since your children spend so much time in the car with you, we’ve put together a few tips to help you keep your child secure while in the car.
Life is a risky business. But you don’t have to leave everything to chance. You can minimize some risks associated with traveling in cars by:
- Buying a new car seat. There are risks involved, like not knowing if the seat has been involved in a prior crash that could affect its ability to protect, with buying a used seat. You’ll know for sure that the new car seat you bought has never been damaged in an accident.
- Installing a car seat properly. Check out this page for more information about how you can secure and check a car seat to ensure it will help prevent your child from being injured. You can also go here to find an inspection location near you.
- Buckling the seatbelt. Although it might take some getting used to for your child, buckling both the lap and chest straps are very important. Plus, using both straps is required by New Mexico law (see below for more about the age requirements).
- Always taking your child. Never leave your child alone in the car. In the summers, your child might experience heatstroke within minutes. In the winter, temperatures can dip below freezing quickly after your car heater is turned off. Plus, there’s always a risk of abduction if your child is left alone.
You can mitigate the risk of an injury by planning ahead and ensuring your child’s car seat and seat belts are functioning as they should.
New Mexico Seatbelt Laws
In addition to keeping you and your children safe in the car, wearing a seatbelt is the law. New Mexico is a primary enforcement state, which means that you can be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt and be issued a citation. New Mexico requires all children under 7 to be placed in a child safety seat, regardless of height and weight. Additionally, children from 7 to 12 must ride in a booster seat until the adult seat fits properly. If you are found in violation, you can be fined $25 and have two points added to your driver’s license on your first offense. Too many points added to your driver’s license, and it could be suspended or revoked! It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Buckle up!