As parents, we all spend a lot of time researching the very best car seats and the latest car seat safety guidelines. However, safe car seats are only a small part of the bigger picture when it comes to keeping your children safe in and around your car. There are a lot of hidden hazards to be aware of.
Make sure you choose a car that has rated as safe, and always follow any traffic laws, make sure seatbelts are on, and the carseat is properly fitted. This could save lives in an accident. If you are in an accident, remember you could get compensation from a car accident attorney.
Don’t Let Your Kids Eat In The Car
The classic Mom car is awash with snacks and crumbs. It makes sense. Families spend a lot of time in the car, so at some point, snacktime is going to come around while you’re in the car. However, giving your kids food in the car can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. A lot of safety organizations recommends skipping snacks in the car, as children can accidentally choke during a bumpy ride, and if you’re concentrating on the road, you may not notice, especially if you have a rear-facing carseat.
Instead, offer snacks before you get in the car, and use toys for entertainment rather than food while you’re driving. You can always stop for a snack if you need to. If you really need to offer snacks on the go, stick to things like applesauce pouches or yogurt tubes to reduce the risk of choking.
Hold Hands In The Parking Lot
Children who aren’t yet old enough to understand that they need to stay next to you in the parking lot should always be required to hold your hand until you get to the safety of the sidewalk. This rule can cause a lot of tantrums, especially if your toddler has an independent streak, but it’s very important for keeping your child safe. Make sure they know the same rule for walking by the road too.
Check The Back Seat Before Getting Out
One of the biggest safety issues in the car is vehicular hyperthermia, also known as heat stroke, which happens from leaving kids in a hot car. Every parent who drives with children, especially in rear-facing car seats, should have a routine in place to make sure you don’t accidentally leave them in the car. Some parents leave their essentials, like the handbag, wallet, or phone, in the backseat with the baby, whereas others use stickers or stuffed toys to jog their memories before they get out of the car. Whichever works for you is fine. Don’t assume you’d never leave your baby in the car. Our brains go on autopilot when we do routine tasks, like driving to work in the morning, and can even create false memories, so you could be certain you dropped the baby at daycare even if you forgot. This can be worse when you’re sleep-deprived too! Take precautions to make sure you don’t do this.