Ensuring a safe ride for your baby is one of the best things you can do to your children. Traveling with a baby can be very challenging since there are a lot of factors to consider such as the baby’s position, health, and needs. But the bottom line of everything is to make the ride worthwhile and secure as possible. Here are safety tips you need to know before traveling with infants, toddlers, or children.
- It is advised by the law to let the children stay in the backseat because it is the safest place for children. In case vehicle collisions happen, there is less impact at the back keeping the child safe and secure.
- Choose the right car seat for your child’s weight and height. There are models and brands suited for infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and youth. Car seats are recommended for children ages 0-13 years old. Infants should be placed in infant car seats which are facing the rear portion of the car and away from active airbags. If the baby outgrows the infant car seat, a convertible car seat is a next choice. The law requires 2-year-old children to use the front-facing position car seat.
- If the child is about 20 pounds, he can already ride facing forward as long as the car seat has tether straps. The straps should be comfortable so as not to hurt the child once the collision happens.
- For children ages 4-8 years old, booster seats are required. Children ages 4-8 years old are still small enough to wear a seat belt. If the child is between 40-100 pounds, booster seat must be used because studies show that booster seats protect the children 3 times better than seat belts. In using a booster seat, a combination of lap and shoulder belt must be used to protect the child from further injury if the vehicle encounters a collision.
- The installation of the car seat must be properly done. The bottom of the car seat must be tightly installed to avoid movement. Now, there are new features added to car seats to keep it in place. You can ask your nearest provider about it. Make sure that the car seat does not move more than 1 inch of its original position.
- Don’t forget to register for your car seat. This is important because it’s easy for you to be notified in case the product is recalled.
- Replace the car seat if the baby outgrows it. Although it might cause additional expenses, the safety of your child is still the priority.
- The harness is also an important feature of the car seat. Make sure that the harness is firm and secure. To find out if the harness is in place, get two fingers between the chest of the child and the straps. If there is more space, then the harness is not tight enough.
- Don’t ever leave the baby in the car unattended even if he stays in the car seat. Children are very curious by nature. They might touch parts and remove certain features which can cause them injury or accidents.
- Don’t use features or accessories not made for your car seat. IF you want additional features or attachments, ask your manufacturer about it.
Car accidents are great causes of death among children and one of the reasons is the improper use of car seats. Let’s always remember the safety of our kids. For more information, contact your public health unit for more safety tips regarding your baby car seat.