5 Tips to Ensure Your Child’s Safety When Traveling By Car

Whether you’re heading out on a family road trip or simply dropping the kids off at school, it’s essential to ensure you are keeping them safe. Injuries – and worse still fatalities – can actually be prevented with the right safety regime and none of us wants to leave our child at risk of harm. Below you’ll discover the top 5 tips to ensure your child is safe while traveling in the car.

1. Correctly installing the right car seat
Every parent knows that a car seat is essential for young children. However, many are confused by the large amount of choice on offer. It can be difficult to know which car seat is right for your child. As a general rule, infants up to 35 pounds should always be placed into a rear-facing seat, while children 35 pounds and over should be secured in a forward facing seat with a 5-point harness. Always pay attention to the weight restrictions and installation instructions too. You can find useful information regarding the different car seats on the Safecar.gov website.   
2. Be aware of the temperature
The number of children dying from heat stroke each year is disturbing. There appears to be much more awareness of keeping animals cool in hot weather in the car than there is with children. No matter how long you are traveling for, always be aware of how hot it is for your children. Keep windows open and never leave them in the car by themselves, even for short periods of time. It’s also surprisingly easy to forget about children in hot cars. According to US. News, 44 children actually died after being left by accident in a hot car in 2013.
3. Remove bulky clothing before placing your child in the car seat
One thing a lot of parents don’t think about is what their child is wearing in the car seat. Did you know that if they are wearing bulky clothing such as thick coats, it will affect how well the car seat protects them? If an accident occurs, the coat could compress which would leave quite a gap between the seat and the child. This increases the risk of injury.
4. Use a rear facing seat as long as possible
Don’t be tempted to move young children into a forward facing seat too early. The rear facing seats are designed to properly protect the soft points of a baby’s body. You’ll find that most seats recommend keeping children up until the age of 1 in a rear facing seat. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises you use the rear-facing options until the child is 2 years of age wherever possible.
5. Beware of power windows
Very few parents give their power windows a second thought. It may seem like a cool feature to invest in once you’ve passed your test and you’re looking for a new car, but did you know power windows can actually kill a child? Remember the safety lessons from that test and apply them even more cautiously when you’ve got children on board. Make sure you’ve taken all necessary precautions to ensure your child cannot control the windows themselves.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com