5 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe on the Road This Winter

As a parent, the only thing you feel as deeply as your love for your children is the vulnerability that comes with it. There isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to protect them. With winter approaching, AMA has five easy ways to help keep kids safe on Alberta roads – whether in your vehicle or someone else’s.

Kibosh the winter coat

Though bulky winter jackets are as Canadian as poutine, they don’t play well with car seats. Even when the straps are tight, the extra padding can compress in a crash and increase your child’s risk of injury or ejection. To keep your little ones warm, dress them in thin, insulating layers that don’t add bulk (for example, a toque, mittens and thin fleece jacket), and use a blanket to cover them up – just ensure it goes over the straps.

Keep an emergency roadside kit

We don’t mean Goldfish crackers and a Disney playlist – although, let’s face it, they wouldn’t hurt. We’re talking about true essentials that will help protect you and your child in the event of a breakdown: reflective triangles, charged phone, warm clothing, first aid kit, a blanket, water and other emergency supplies. You can make your own kit, or buy a pre-assembled one at an AMA centre.

Protect your child in any car

The great thing about an AMA membership is that it follows you in almost any vehicle. To extend this protection to your child, Plus and Premier members need only sign up for Kids Go Free, a complimentary perk that covers children in the same household under age 16. Whether your child is riding with a nanny, sports coach, or fellow parent, you’ll have the peace of mind that AMA is just a phone call away.

Know thy car seat

Children always seem to grow up too fast. But when it comes to car seats and booster seats, prematurely “graduating” to the next stage can have life-threatening consequences. Always adhere to the height and weight guidelines listed by the manufacturer, use the recommended installation technique, and ensure the straps and buckles are properly positioned.

Use winter tires

In temperatures below 7 C, winter tires improve traction, reduce stopping distances, and provide better directional control. The confidence they inspire on snow and ice will truly change the way you view winter driving. AMA members even get a 5% discount on a new set from Kal Tire! Now, the only thing you have to worry about this winter is your Disney playlist stopping before you get home.

I’m a former journalist, current AMA communications specialist, and future backup dancer for Beyonce. I’m passionate about helping members, riding motorcycles and eliminating all traces of cilantro from food.