Fall is officially here and temperatures are dropping. With snowy weather right around the corner, it’s important to remember that car safety is crucial.

While keeping your kids safe in the car may seem easy, the threat cars can pose to your children’s health and safety doesn’t stop once you pull into the driveway. There are approximately 5.5 million car accidents in the U.S. every year, and many children are injured in non-traffic related incidents.

To help you keep your kids safer in the car this season, consider the three following tips:

  1. Never leave your kids in the car. It’s not only car thieves you need to worry about when you leave your children unattended in a vehicle. Materials like steel, aluminum, and copper — which your car is made of — are superconductors for heat. A toddler’s heating and cooling process are very different than it is for adults. This makes them susceptible to overheating in a car when left alone. In fact, infants and children under the age of four are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness because they’re less able to lower their body heat by sweating. That said, always bring your kids inside with you even if you’re just making a quick stop.
  2. Make sure your child seats are installed correctly. Safety seats are a big component of safe driving with kids. But it’s important that you’re installing them correctly for them to do their jobs. Fortunately, you can actually have your car’s safety seat inspected by finding an inspector in your area. It’s also good to remember that all kids under the age of 13 ought to be riding in the back seat to prevent injury.
  3. Don’t let your kids play around a car. Many parents feel like their kids are safe playing in the driveway because they’re at home. But your kids should never play around or in an unattended car without an adult around. Children who are playing may be in the driver’s blind spot and they can be easily injured or worse. And kids who are playing inside an unattended vehicle could become trapped or overheat. Make your child aware that cars are dangerous even when they’re not on the road.

With colder weather making the roads slick, it’s important to make sure your kids are safe and secure in the car. Not only do you need to protect your vehicle with the right tires and snow equipment, you need to protect your children while they’re passengers in your car. By following the tips above, you can feel more at ease while you and your family are on the road this season.