Follow these tips to make your car safe for your baby!
Do you want to childproof your car?
Did you know that by just installing a car seat doesn’t guarantee that your baby will be safe in your car?
There are a lot of extra steps you need to take to make sure your little one will be safe in your car, in addition to installing a car seat.
It is reported than most car crashes that result in child injury or death happen close to home. That means something as simple as going for a drive around the neighborhood could be most dangerous for your baby.
Children can die from being in a hot car and from car crashes. Parents can prevent these deaths by simply buckling up baby in a car seat, and making sure to never leave them alone in the car.
I know such reports can leave you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and wanting to make sure you keep your baby safe.
But where do you start?
Take the following steps to eliminate the dangers in your car and make it safe for your little one.
How to Childproof Your Car
Use the following tips to keep your baby safe in your car:
1. Use A Car Seat
The law requires that any child younger than 13 years old traveling in a car should be strapped in a car seat. Using a car seat can go as far as saving your child’s life in an accident.
Make sure you follow your manufacturer’s weight and height recommendations when using a car seat. Follow the correct installation instructions.
Your child’s safety in a car doesn’t just end with using the car seat though.
Make sure you avoid these common car seat mistakes to ensure your baby will be safe should anything happen.
Now, once a toddler, your little won’t be happy with being restrained in a car seat during a drive. I struggled with this once my daughter was 1 year old.
However, avoid letting your baby remove their arms from the safety harness so that they can lean forward and move their body with ease.
Always be firm and teach your little one to always have the straps on their shoulders.
2. Make Use Of Child Safety Locks
Every time you take a road trip with your little one, no matter how short, engage child lock on the passenger doors.
Child safety locks prevent a car door from being opened from the inside.
Children are observant. Once your baby reaches an age where they can open that car door, excitement kicks in, and they enjoy opening the door just for the fun of it.
A child safety lock prevents your little one from opening a car door at the worst of times.
3. Car Window Lock
So babies love things that move. Up and down, side by side. Once your baby realizes that by just pressing a button, the window can move up and down, there’s no stopping them.
Sometimes those little hands get caught between the window and the door, resulting in tears and swollen or bruised fingers.
Make use of a window lock to prevent these undesirable situations.
You should also get car window shades to protect your baby from the sun while on driving.
4. Supervision At All times
There are those times where you leave your baby in the car because you “quickly want to get something in the house” or you “quickly need to use the bathroom before you leave…”
It’s so convenient, isn’t it?
I know, I’m guilty of it as well.
We honestly need to stop doing that.
After reading numerous stories about babies dying in a car, I realized how dangerous leaving a baby unattended in a car is.
We make a mistake like this, thinking you’ll quickly pop out and come back in no time.
Life happens. Sometimes that “quickly” ends up being 10 minutes. And all this time your baby is left alone in the car.
The most heartbreaking stories are those where the parent genuinely forgot the baby is in the car…
What happens is that the parent carries on with daily activities until that point where they realize the child has been in the car all along.
Most of the time, nothing happens, besides being alarmed and shuddering to think about what could have happened.
In unfortunate circumstances, the weather is just too hot or too cold, and the baby just can’t handle it. By the time the parent realized their mistake, sadly, it’s too late.
Next time when you put your little one on their car seat, try putting some of your valuables (think your wallet, cellphone, house/ office keys) close to them. Tell yourself that those valuables only leave the car when baby is out of the car seat.
5. Get Your Car Organized
Clean your car and neatly and organize items in it. Pack away any loose items, coins, or sharp objects that can harm your baby. The same way you would remove harmful objects from your baby’s reach when you childproof your home, do the same when you childproof your car.
Loose objects become dangerous in case of a crash. These can be water bottles, glasses, etc. And things like coins are choking hazards.
Mind what is in your handbag. Most often, our handbags have a number or unsafe items for our little ones. The same goes for the baby bag. Things like baby ointments, medication, nail clippers, etc.
We always take these supplies in the handbag to be prepared in case anything happens, but we should always make sure the baby can’t access them.
The same goes for the car cabin. Don’t pack hazardous items in there.
6. Handbrake Up At All Times
My obsession with the handbrake comes from a childhood paranoia. I’ve always been worried about what would happen if the car suddenly moved downhill while I’m inside, hahaha!
So after having my daughter, whenever we were in the car, I would make sure the handbrake is up. For both our sakes!
But jokes aside, I once witnessed a car rolling with toddlers inside and the mother came rushing to the car to pull the handbrake up.
Another reason why we should never leave children unsupervised in a car.
7. Remove Keys From The Ignition
Whenever you aren’t driving, take the keys off the ignition.
Even with supervision, your little explorer could end up on the driver’s seat and accidentally turn on the car.
We should also remember to not make a habit of giving car keys to our babies to play with. Once they see them on the ignition, they will want to do what mommy does and turn the key as well.
What To Do After You Childproof Your Car
Keeping your baby safe is an ongoing process. Taking these steps every time you take a drive with your baby goes a long way in making sure they are safe while in the car.
It takes one small mistake for an incident to occur, sometimes with irreversible consequences.
Do your part and childproof your car to reduce the chances of your baby being injured while in the car.