Ideally, you will never experience a car accident with your children in the car, but it could happen. The most ideal way to protect your kids in an accident is to prepare ahead of time. There are reasons why the state of Georgia has specific laws regarding children in vehicles. It is to protect them and ensure that you, as the parent, know what is the most effective.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury deaths in children. The sad thing is that many of those deaths are preventable if parents follow the guidelines for proper safety seats and other recommendations for children as passengers in vehicles.

Age limit and the front seat

One rule that you should have in your vehicle is that no child can sit in the front seat until he or she is 13 years old. Studies show that the front seat is not safe for smaller children. At 13, a child is physically stronger and able to withstand the force and other factors that come with sitting in the front of a vehicle in a crash.

Safety seats

The most effective way to protect your child is using a safety seat appropriate for his or her age and size and in the correct position. In general, the recommendations from experts are that up to age four, a child needs to be in a rear-facing car seat. After age five, he or she can face forward but should still be in a car seat until reaching the manufacturer’s size limits. At that time, your son or daughter can move to a booster seat until he or she can sit in the regular seat with a seat belt properly fitting across the chest and lap areas.

A properly fitting seat belt goes across the chest and along the upper thighs. Many people wear them wrong, with the seatbelt cutting into the neck and the lap belt along their stomach, so be aware of the proper fit.