Baby on board: Expert tips for carrying precious cargo
Let’s make adventures happen with these car safety tips for travelling with a baby!
Once you become a parent, you want to make sure that your normal life becomes as safe as possible for your baby. There’s a whole lot of babyproofing that needs to be done and your car should be high up on the checklist!
You’re probably aware of the dangers of getting into your car. Heading out onto the open road leaves you vulnerable to accidents and collisions and that’s why it’s so important to practice regular safety protocols.
Before getting on the road
Car safety for children starts before you get in the car!
Get into a habit of checking where your child is before you even get into gear. If you are going on a car trip without your child, you still need to know where they are. We are used to jumping in the car and zooming away but you need to know the whereabouts of your kid to avoid hitting them with your car.
Something we suggest is putting a picture of your child on your rearview mirror or dashboard to make sure the habit becomes second nature.
Doors and windows
Most cars come with a kiddie lock that will prevent your child from being able to open any of the back doors. Of course, a newborn won’t have those motor skills but you never know what could happen by accident.
Make sure your windows are closed all the way to the top so your child doesn’t get their hand caught. If you are adjusting the windows, do a check to make sure all fingers are out of the way! Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to windows is making sure your child is not exposed to a lot of sunlight during the car trip. Either move the seat to the middle of the back seat, to the other side of the car or invest in a sun protection screen.
Your car seat is the ultimate safety purchase you need in your car. You cannot travel by car without one, period. When installing your car seat, don’t assume that you know best. Read the instructions very carefully and do a slow drive at first to ensure that the seat is completely secure.
Also remember that when you are strapping your baby into their car seat, remove any puffy jackets and jerseys and rather put a blanket over them. Puffy clothing prevents you from strapping them in firmly and may cause the straps to be a bit loose.
Test the weight and size specifications of the seatbelt regularly to make sure it is still appropriate for your child. If they have outgrown it, you need to purchase a new one.
Position of the car seat
For the first two years of your childs life, you need to face the car seat towards the rear of the car. A car seat must never, ever be placed in the front of the car. The safest position is on a backseat next to a window or in the middle seat.
Airbags can be hugely dangerous to small bodies which is why they need to sit in the back. Airbags may end up doing more damage than the actual accident.
Save lunchtime for outside of the car
Although giving your child a snack in the car may seem like a fun idea, eating in the car can be a choking hazard for kids. Slamming on the brakes may cause small food items to get lodged in their throats and you may not notice in time whilst you have your eyes on the road.
Hit the road, snacks: Healthy padkos you and your family will actually like!
Never leave your child in the car
We know that new parents are tired and accidents happen, but one thing you cannot slip up on is making sure your child is never left alone in the car. Even if you are stepping out to buy bread and milk, it’s a complete no-go.
A good way to make sure you always take your baby with you is to put your wallet, cellphone or handbag in the back seat so that you have to check before you step out of the car.
Keep your car keys out of reach
This is another car safety tip that applies to what happens outside of the car.
Curious toddlers love to imitate their parents and if they are old enough to grab and crawl, there is always a chance they can get into your car. There are plenty of things that could go wrong with a young child in an unattended car and you can avoid these by making sure your car keys are out of reach.
We hope you have years and years of happy and safe travels with your family.
Yours in safety first insurance,