Becoming a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have in their lifetime. As a parent, wouldn’t you do anything and everything you could to protect your child? Children don’t understand the potential dangers of everyday living, so it’s up to parents to teach them and protect them. Of course, we can’t be with our children every second of every day. For example, when they are in school playing basketball with their friends at recess, it’s possible they may fall and scrape their knee. We can’t have our eyes on them all the time, but we can console them and comfort them when they get injured.
Unlike young children, babies are completely dependent upon their parents. Everything from feeding to clothing to helping them walk, parents need to always be there. Driving with them in the car is no different.
If you want to keep your little ones safe in the car while you’re driving, you’ll want to pay attention to a few important steps:
- Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Child
Not all car seats are created equal. Nor do all car seats fit in every car. Depending on the age of your child, you’ll want to choose a car seat that keeps your child secure when you’re on the road.
- Don’t Give Toys or Food to Your Baby in the Car
It’s important to remain as safe as possible while you’re driving. It’s a good idea to avoid having loose objects in the car while you’re driving. If your baby is craving attention, it’s best to pull over somewhere safely to give your baby the care he or she needs. Loose toys could cause injuries.
- Register Your Car Seat
Just as is the case with car manufacturers recalling their vehicles in the event of a malfunction, car seat manufacturers may tr to notify you of a potential problem they’ve found with their product. An effective way of becoming aware of these product issues is by registering your car seat with the manufacturer. When you do that, if the manufacturer finds a problem, they will notify you by mail.
- Install a mirror
A rearview mirror can be small and can leave your vision limited in the event of an emergency. Consider installing a mirror in your backseat, so you can keep a better eye on your little one. You will gain better peace of mind knowing your child is safe because you’ll be able to watch them more closely.
- Have the Car Seat’s Installation Checked
If you are not confident your car seat is installed properly, consider having it checked. It’s better to be safe than sorry. There are many public safety departments that offer free installation and safety checks.
- Make Sure that Seat Belts are Positioned Properly
Shoulder straps should be positioned at or slightly below the shoulders. The clip should be positioned at about the height of the armpit.
- Be Sure That You Car Seat Isn’t Damaged or Expired
Yes, car seats do come with expiration dates. Read your owner’s manual to find the date of when your product was manufactured. You car seat should be replaced at least every six years from the date the car seat was manufactured. Regularly inspect your car seat to check for cracks or breaks or visible defects.
- Have Your Baby Face the Rear of Your Vehicle For As Long As PossibleThe American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children face the rear of your vehicle at least until they reach the age of two. Another determining factor could be when your child reaches the maximum height and weight that is listed on the car seat. Make sure to pay close attention to that.