Children are going to hurt themselves—that is how we picture childhood should be, right? Although bumps and bruises are an inescapable part of childhood. Yet, a light injury is only one step away from a dangerous fracture. Thus, it’s our job as dads and mamas to minimize accidents and keep them safe from preventable injuries. Not just playful cuts, preventative measures should also include while you are traveling with your tots.
Families have unique transportation needs, and we don’t just mean bigger cars. Getting your family around requires a considerable degree of planning. Not to mention, transporting your brood demands a heightened awareness of safety. What can you do to make your child safer during rides in your car? There are many things. However, certain practices can help parents better assure the security of their youngsters. As parents, we spend tons of time researching the best car seats and the latest car seat safety guidelines. But car seat safety for children is only a small part of the big picture when it comes to keeping kids safe in the vehicle. There are lots of hidden hazards to be aware of—some obvious, others not so much. Do you think there are any such child car safety rules in particular? Not at all. So, are you ready to brush up on car safety tips—beyond just making sure your car seat is installed correctly?
Here, we have tapped a few experts who know the child safety ropes and were happy to share bits of advice. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Always Use the Tether
Any idea about what tether is? Well, it’s a strap connected to the seat that attaches the car seat to tether anchors built into the car that prevents the harnessed seat from tipping in a crash. Without it, there is a high chance for children to move farther forward or to the side in a crash, putting them at risk of brain and spinal injuries — or death. So, if your kiddo is in a forward-facing seat with an internal harness, please make sure you are using the seat’s tether.
2. Never Leave your kid back in a car
This is one of the first and fundamental car seat safety regulations that you have to ensure for kids. That’s because you just cannot afford to let your child be alone inside the car, especially if it is a hot day. That is because, as we all know, during a hot day, the temperature inside the car usually rises rapidly, due to which your child can be in danger. Many parents have ignored this and have suffered as well. Therefore, dear parents, please keep this thing in mind.
3. No snacking in the car.
As silly as it sounds, avoid giving food or drinks to your children in the car. What will happen if your child someday starts choking? Your parental protective instincts might take over and compel you to make not-so-good choices in how and where to pull over to address the issue. This can cause harm to both you and your baby.
4. Don’t allow distractions.
Needless to say, distracted driving is another major reason why most accidents happen. Distractions such as fighting, yelling, and screaming can agitate you and can cause you to lose focus. Talking on the phone, texting, eating, and other distractions can also lead to accidents. If the kids are fighting, please stop them or pull over. If the phone rings or alerts you to a text message, please wait until you safely reach your destination to answer or respond.
5. Choose the proper safety restraint.
There are numerous car seats. The safest, best car seat is the one that will fit securely in your vehicle, that fits your child’s age, height, and weight, and the one that you can operate correctly every time. All you need to have is proper knowledge about what car safety seats to buy that would be the best for your child. So, why not start educating yourself on choosing the appropriate type of car seat for children, the importance of extended rear-facing, and how to get its seat installation checked by a car safety technician? Start by doing a bit of research.
6. Check the Back Seat Before Getting Out
One of the biggest problems parents face these days when it comes to car safety for children is “vehicular hyperthermia”—aka heatstroke that results from unintentionally leaving kids in a hot car. Every parent who drives with kids must have a routine to avoid accidentally leaving them behind. Some parents leave essential belongings like their phone or wallet in the backseat with their baby. In contrast, others use stickers or stuffed animals as a way of jogging their memory before exiting their vehicle. It’s OK to use whichever tactic works for you. What’s not OK? Assuming it’ll never happen to you. When we are in autopilot mode, our brains start creating false memories. Due to which we can have a positive thought that we perhaps had dropped our kid at daycare when we really didn’t.
7. Roll Windows Down Before Backing up
These days, most vehicles have reliable backup cameras, which have been super-helpful in avoiding running over small children while backing up. But there’s no harm in still keeping up the good practice of rolling your windows down and backing up slowly, especially when there are children nearby. This lets you clearly listen to what’s going on around you.
8. Adjustable rear shoulder belt anchors
Adjustable anchors help you place the shoulder belt securely across your child’s chest instead of their face. If a vehicle doesn’t have adjustable anchors, you can take your child along when you test drive to ensure that the rear shoulder belts have safe positioning.
Being a parent means that you always have to keep a watchful eye on your children’s safety, including precautionary measures, especially when driving. Vehicle accidents are a leading cause of fatality, so you have to make sure your child is properly secured. We know accidents are unpredictable. No matter how safely you drive, accidents can still occur. So, just make sure you do everything in your reach to protect your children. These precautionary measures are there for a reason – if you stick to them, they can be very effective in protecting children in the event of a car accident.
Well, what measures do you take to keep your child safe in the car? Please take time and share with us any other car safety measures or regulations for children you think we have missed out on. Till then, stay tuned and keep driving, but safely!