As a parent, you will want to make sure that your children are safe at all times. In today’s day and age, it’s impossible to keep your child safe from every risky situation, especially when it comes to getting around in your car. Chances are, you’ll need to drive with your little ones in the car to take them to school or kindergarten, on days out, to go grocery shopping, and on many other occasions. Sadly, no matter how safely you drive, and how much care you take when behind the wheel, there’s always the risk of an accident occurring. Because of this, it’s crucial to ensure that your children are kept as safe as possible when riding in your car. We’ve put together some top tips to help you improve child safety at all times when on the road.
Tip #1. Use the Correct Car Seat:
When driving with your child in your car, you should always make sure that they are seated in the correct car seat for their age and size. You will need to select a car seat that meets three main criteria; it should fit your vehicle correctly, be the right size for your child, and you must be able to use it correctly each time you make a journey with your little one. Bear in mind that children will go through several car seats from birth until they reach their teenage years. Make sure that you are always using the correct and safest option by being fully aware of the height, weight and age restrictions of your child’s car seat, so that you will know when the best time is to invest in an upgrade. Bear in mind that different car seats will come with varying requirements based on the model and manufacturer – if in doubt, the best step to take is to always read the instructions and requirements that will be provided on the label.
Tip #2. Check Your Car Regularly:
When you use a family car, it’s important to check more often than usual when it comes to ensuring that everything is running safely and working properly. Before you take a long journey, it’s a good idea to ensure that all the safety features in your car are working correctly, such as the seat belts, child safety locks, and any other features specific to your vehicle. Along with this, it’s also important to give your car regular checks – the tires, electrics, oil levels, brake fluid levels and water are all essential to the smooth and safe running of your vehicle, so keeping on top of them regularly will help to keep you and your family as safe as possible when out and about. Make sure that you scan your car for signs of damage often; bumps and knocks can weaken the bodywork of the vehicle and increase your risk of harm in the event of an accident.
Tip #3. Keep Your Kids Occupied:
If you are taking a long journey with your children, then the last thing that you want is for them to get bored and end up distracting you at the wheel. You are probably already aware that it could take just a couple of seconds where your eyes aren’t on the road for a terrible accident to occur. Because of this, it’s a good idea to ensure that your car is fully stocked up with interesting things for your little ones to do to keep them occupied during the ride. Tablets and smartphones make an excellent choice since these can be charged in the car and used for your kids to watch movies or play games to keep them happy and content whilst you can concentrate on driving safely. If you have older children, then it could be a good idea to invest in in-car Wi-Fi, since this will allow them to browse the internet or use internet-connected apps on their devices whilst riding in the car.
Tip #4. Seat Smart:
When it comes to ensuring that your children are as safe as possible when riding in your car, then where you choose to seat them is important. According to the experts, the middle section of your back seat is the safest place for a child to be seated if they are in a car seat. If you are traveling with more than one child, then it’s a good idea to place the youngest child in this area, whilst older children in booster seats can sit to the side in the back seat of your car. If possible, it’s best to try and avoid letting any children sit in the front seat of your car. If this is unavoidable, then you should make sure that your airbags are working correctly before setting off. Of course, it goes without saying that all children riding in your car should be wearing their seatbelts correctly at all times. If your child is riding in a car seat or booster seat, then be sure to fit their seatbelts correctly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Incorrectly fitted seatbelts can seriously put you or your child at risk in the event of an accident.
Tip #5. Avoid Used Car Seats:
If you are looking to save money when it comes to buying a car seat for your child, then opting for a used one might seem like a tempting option. However, this might not be the best choice, since you can never be fully sure when it comes to the history of a car seat that has been used in the past. Unless you are purchasing the seat from somebody you know and are completely sure that it has been well looked after and not involved in any accidents, then it’s always worth investing in a new car seat to make sure that the risk of your child being harmed in a road accident is kept as minimal as possible. If you purchase a used car seat, you are not only increasing your child’s risk of harm on the roads, but you’ll also be risking gaining no compensation if your child is hurt in an accident that was not your fault. For more information, contact this accident lawyer Baton Rouge.
Tip #6. Pack Correctly:
When it comes to keeping your child safe in the car, it’s not just them who should be strapped securely into their car seat. In the event of an accident, loose items in the car which are not stored away correctly could become a source of serious damage or harm. If you are traveling somewhere and need to take a number of items with you, then it’s important to ensure that they are securely stored in the trunk of your car where they won’t be able to cause any damage to you or your child if they are flung around. Even seemingly harmless items in your car such as mirrors, bottles, toys, and shoes can pose a big risk in the event of a crash.
Tip #7. Never Leave Your Child Alone:
Many parents would never even think about leaving their little one alone in the car, however, it can be tempting to nip back into the house for something or go and pay for gas, for example, whilst leaving them in their car seat. However, although leaving your child for less than a minute may seem completely harmless, this could be all that it takes for something drastic to happen. The risk is even higher if the weather is hot; leaving your child alone in a hot car could bring on heatstroke much faster than you may realize. To stay safe, make sure that you take your child with you every time you get out of the car.
Tip #8. Drive Safely:
Of course, it goes without saying that one of the best ways to ensure that your little ones are as safe as possible when riding in your car is to drive as safely as possible. It’s important to make sure that you never take risks on the road; if you are unsure about a situation, then it’s usually a better decision to hang back until you know that it is safe to proceed, rather than driving through and hoping for the best. Make sure that you are fully aware of the various speed limits, road signs and road markings – a good satellite navigation system will also be able to help you with this. It may also help for you to alert other drivers to the fact that there are children riding in your car; a ‘baby on board’ or ‘children on board’ sign in your back window will let other drivers know that there are vulnerable passengers in the car and many drivers will see this as a sign to slow down around you and give you a little more space on the road.
Driving with your kids in the car is always going to be risky, but thankfully, there are several things that you can do to keep everybody safe and secure.