Planning a Vacation? Don’t Forget CPS!Among the many extra challenges of traveling with small children is using transportation modes other than the familiar family vehicle. Here are some vacation-related issues that CPSTs might encounter in coming months.
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“We are planning a big cross-country tour this summer and figure it would make sense to rent an RV for this adventure . . .”
Often, even parents who normally are careful to use a CR for their children for every ride imagine that the interior of a recreational vehicle (RV, or motor home) is somehow a magical zone where the laws of physics do not apply. Caregivers need to know that an RV may not be safe for children. Children still need to be buckled up appropriately any time they are riding in a vehicle, and this can be a real challenge in an RV. RVs come in a range of style classes (A, B, C, C+, etc.) and, although these do vary in appropriateness for families, none is ideal.People reason that bigger vehicles tend to withstand crash forces better, and this may lull some RVers into a false sense of security. However, bigger isn’t actually safer when it comes to RVs. Unlike school buses, which must meet the strict structural standards of several FMVSSs, RVs are not subject to school bus standards, nor do many of the crashworthiness standards governing cars apply. Because of this and design features that may include seams in the sides for things like galley slide-outs, an RV’s size may not translate to superior structural soundness.In addition, although seat belts are sometimes present in the living areas, the anchorages for these are not required to comply with FMVSS 208. In some cases, the belts are just anchored to a piece of board! Also, LATCH anchors are not required.Parents also must know that CRs should never be installed on rearward- or side-facing vehicle seats, further limiting options. And the problem of loose objects causing injury can be a greater concern aboard a traveling motel room. Even “built-in” cabinets have been known to come loose due to the force of a crash.
©Safe Ride News March/April 2010
Click below for information about safely traveling in an airplane.
Safer Airplane Travel with Babies and Young Children
Viajar Más Seguro en Avión con Bebés y Niños Pequeños