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Keeping Your Little One's Safe In The Car

Driving is a huge responsibility in itself, and you have a duty to take all precautions necessary to safeguard yourself and others while driving, so familiarize yourself with these five strategies for keeping children safe while traveling by car.

When you have children in the car, you take on a potentially much larger level of responsibility than you would otherwise. The last thing you want us to do is to be involved in an accident and need a car crash lawyer.

It is essential that you educate yourself on the numerous preventative measures you can take to ensure the safety of child passengers.


1. Ensure that the child safety seat you purchase is appropriate for both the child's age and size

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children younger than three years old should ride in a car seat that faces in the opposite direction from the driver. The additional support provided by this position is helpful in reducing the risk of injury to the vulnerable heads and necks of newborns and toddlers.

Your child should make the switch to a forward-facing car seat when they reach the age of about 3 years old, which is when they will no longer be able to fit in the rear-facing position. This position is more appropriate for their size.

Children should switch to a booster seat after they are no longer able to fit in a car seat that faces forward. When most children are between the ages of four and seven or have achieved the maximum height or weight to fit in their booster seat securely, they transition from a child safety seat to a booster seat.

Between the ages of 9 and 13, most children are old enough to transition from the use of booster seats to the use of only a seat belt. Before removing your child from the booster seat, you should check that they can use a regular seat belt properly.

Remember that regardless of their size, children under the age of 14 should always travel in the backseat.


2. Ensure that you always use your seatbelt

Seat belts are a vital component of vehicle safety for all passengers, regardless of age, including children. It does not matter if you are traveling across the nation or just to the local convenience store; it is imperative that all adults in the vehicle constantly wear their seat belts since this is not only the right thing to do but also the law.

Having said that, as was mentioned earlier, certain children who are too small for a seat belt may require the use of a car seat or booster seat. This is because the seat belt may pose a risk to a child who is too small for it. In this scenario, the seat belt can be used to secure the car seat, or you can use a booster seat to make it easier for your child to fit into the seat belt.


3. Keep an eye out for heatstroke

When the engine is turned off and all the doors and windows are left open, the interior of a car can quickly reach dangerously high temperatures, which can lead to heat stroke. As a result of this, it is imperative that you never leave your children in the automobile by themselves because this setting is exceptionally hazardous for children. Every year, dozens of youngsters who are locked inside cars and allowed to bake to death suffer fatal heat strokes. Take your child out of the car and bring them inside with you at all times, even if you are just stopping in the supermarket to pick up a few things on the way home from work.


4. Refrain from eating any food in the car

It may seem like a good idea to keep youngsters distracted while you are driving, but it is best not to give them snacks while you are behind the wheel.

Children are at a greater risk of choking when they eat in the automobile because the motion of the car makes it more likely that food will become caught in the child's throat. In addition, car seats that face the rear make it more difficult to determine whether or not your child is having difficulty eating.

If you want to keep your children entertained during the ride, a better option would be to have them engage in another activity or play with a toy that does not provide a choking threat.


5. Have parents take their children's winter outerwear off before buckling them into their car seats

Before you buckle your child into their car seat or booster seat, remove any bulky items of clothes that they may be wearing. Because of the additional material, the harness straps may become excessively lax, which would mean that your child is not adequately fastened in the event of an accident. We always like to buckle in safely then we can give Braden a blanket over the straps if needed for the cold or naps!


6. Keep your phone out of reach when you are driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading contributors to traffic collisions, and using a phone while behind the wheel raises the probability that you will make a mistake in judgment, especially if you are sending a text message. In addition, it is against the law in most states to text while driving.

Remove the temptation to text while driving by putting your phone in a location where you can not get to it. This will help you safeguard your loved ones and keep you from driving distracted. I keep my phone on "focus" mode and use Waze for directions. This keeps the notifications from popping up to keep my eyes on the road!


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