We would be lost without our cars, especially parents who need their vehicles to shepherd their little ones around throughout their childhoods. For most parents, these simple acts usually occur safely as part of a daily routine; however, some parents are not so lucky due to road accidents.
In many cases, these road accidents occur because of someone else’s carelessness. Unfortunately, there are times when kids get injured because parents haven’t used the car seats correctly or not paid enough attention. Therefore, knowing how to keep your child safe in the car can ensure that even the most routine trips don’t end in an unfortunate accident.
Follow the Instruction Manual
Many accidents occur because parents use or install the car seats incorrectly. It is always best to follow the instructions and ask for help from friends and family if you are unsure. This is especially true if they have used a similar model of car seat.
There are also numerous guides on manufacturers’ websites and helplines to call should you need any further help. In some areas, the local fire department or police department will have an expert on hand to check your installation and offer any advice you may need.
Keep Your Eyes Open
It is true that we need eyes in the back of our heads when looking after kids, and this is never truer than when the little ones are in the car.
You should always remain ultra-vigilant and never leave them alone in the car, not even for a millisecond. When you are driving, make sure the baby seat is in a position which is clearly visible, and never leave them unattended in the car, especially babies.
For toddlers and older kids, you should always check to make sure that their wandering hands haven’t undone the buckle or come out of the straps.
Use the Right Seat
Car and booster seats are designed with specific age groups and sizes in mind, so it is vitally important that you follow these guidelines.
For example, newborns should sit in rear-facing seats placed in the back of the car. You might be tempted to put them in the front, where they are closer to you. However, if you were involved in an accident, the airbags would do more harm than good to your baby.
As your little one grows, you should use booster seats so that they are able to use the safety straps across the shoulders and lap. Failure to do this puts children at risk from injury if you brake suddenly.
Keeping your little ones occupied on long journeys is always a good idea, as their boredom could create problems, especially if they decide it is time to explore the car. Kids like to play around and experiment, and a moving vehicle is not the ideal place to start wandering around.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to have a supply of coloring books, a tablet or DVD player on hand to distract them. Playing guessing games like I-Spy is always an excellent way to interact with them while traveling.
Teaching your little ones the importance of buckling up at a young age is always worth doing and will get them into good habits. Create car rules such as ‘the car cannot move while anyone is not safely buckled in.’