It is a parent’s worst nightmare to have a car accident with children on board and them being seriously injured. While car accidents can potentially have devastating effects on children, there are ways that parents can maximize the protection level of little ones traveling in a vehicle.

The National Safe Kids Campaign reports that the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children between the ages of 2 and 14 is motor vehicle crashes. Aside from death, motor vehicle collisions often result in severe or life altering injuries in children.

A number of reasons explain why children seem to be more prone to severe injuries or death in the event of a car accident. Their small stature, the type of restraint seat that is used, and the location of airbags in the vehicle all have an impact on how severe the consequences of a collision could be.

Parents want to do what is best for their child. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found that over fifty percent of children under the age of 14 killed in a car collision are not properly restrained. A proper restraint system is one of the easiest ways parents can ensure their child’s safety while on board a vehicle and yet, it is too often one of the most overlooked.

There are some tips parents can follow to ensure that they provide their children with the maximum level of security possible while traveling by car. Proper seating arrangement should be a top priority. Parents should pay the utmost attention to their child’s car seat instructions, which includes rear facing, and forward facing guidelines, the best placement of the seat inside of the vehicle, as well as height and weight restrictions. It is also important to ensure a rear facing car seat is not near an airbag. Loose items in the car should be removed or stored properly.

As children age, they may wish to sit in the front seat. Parents allowing their child to sit in the front of the vehicle when they do not meet the height and weight requirements are putting them at an increased risk of severe or fatal injuries should a crash occur.

Children are extremely vulnerable in motor vehicle accidents. While it is not possible to prevent all types of accidents, parents have tools and guidelines to assist them in making the safest choices for their children riding in the family vehicle. Prevention is key in ensuring kids on the road are as safe as possible. They deserve to have the best odds of survival should a devastating crash happen.