Your child’s safety is your responsibility and likely your top priority. The following five tips will help you keep your child safe and out of harm’s way whenever they’re in your car, from the time they’re born through their toddler years.
Properly Install the Car Seat
Always make sure to use a federally-approved car safety seat. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure it’s installed properly, securely and safely before you take the baby home from the hospital. Your local fire station or other safety seat inspector can install the car seat for you or check that it’s been installed correctly. If you opt to install the seat yourself, make sure that you thoroughly read the instructions. According to Forbes, approximately 75% of car seats aren’t properly installed.
Car Seat Best Practices
According to WebMD.com, the car seat should face the rear of the car during the first two years of the child’s life. For infants, the front should be tilted to a 45-degree angle so that the baby’s head and neck is supported. If your baby tends to slip forward, you can put a rolled towel under the front of the baby carrier, as well as rolled towels on either side of the baby’s head for extra support. No matter how old your child is, the car seat should be in the center of the back seat, which is the safest location for it. Up to the age of 13, kids should always ride in the back seat. According to Forbes, car crashes are the leading cause of death for kids between the ages of three and 14 and car safety will help prevent unnecessary deaths. Austin, TX car accident lawyers from Harron Law suggest to always make sure everyone is properly secured and buckled in a vehicle while traveling to help prevent any injuries.
Add a Mirror
It can be nerve-wracking to drive with your baby in the back seat when the car seat is facing away from you. If they’re crying, you’ll wonder if they’re hurt. If they’re silent, you’ll wonder if they’re breathing fine. Put your mind at ease and keep an eye on your little one by placing a mirror in front of them. You’ll be able to see their reflection in your rear view mirror and you can glance at them whenever you want. Try to only look at them when you’re stopped, though, to prevent accidents.
Pay Close Attention
Never leave a baby or child unattended in a car, even if it’s for less than one minute. Children are highly susceptible to heat and cold, much more so than adults. Kids can quickly overheat in a locked car, even if you think you’re only leaving them there for a moment.
Teach Kids Good Habits
Teach your kids to stay away from cars when you’re not with them. This will prevent roll-away injuries and deaths, back-over injuries and deaths, and trunk entrapment. Additionally, make sure to always keep your car and trunk locked and to keep car keys out of reach of little ones. In additional to teaching kids the rules of car safety, make sure that they listen to you. If they are about to run behind a car that’s backing up, you need to know that they’ll immediately stop if you tell them to.
You can never be too careful when it comes to car safety and your child. Don’t try to graduate your child too quickly. Every time you move your child “up,” such as using a larger seat, the risk of injury increases. Kids should continue to use a car seat and follow car safety rules for as long as necessary in order to keep them safe.
~ Rachelle Wilber ~
Thank you Rachelle, another great and helpful post!