Traveling with children can be such a hassle. The fact that children are naturally curious and unable to stay in one place for a long time makes driving with them more challenging and risky.
A study found that driving with kids is twelve times more dangerous than speaking on the phone. As a parent, it's your responsibility to ensure your children's safety when riding with them. Outlined below are four ways to keep your child safe while driving.
1. Get the right car seat
While car seats are crucial to keeping your child safe when driving, all seats aren't the same. The type of car seat your young one requires depends on various factors, including their:
● Developmental needs
If your child is an infant or a young child, get them a rear-facing car seat and allow them to use it until they reach the maximum weight or height as per the manufacturer's recommendation. You can get a forward-facing car seat when your kid outgrows the rear-facing seat. Nevertheless, you must ensure that they meet the seat's minimum weight and height restrictions.
When your young one outgrows the forward-facing car seat, shift them to a booster seat. Get a professional to install your car seat and ensure your child is correctly secured before driving away.
2. Don't let your child eat as you drive
Allowing your child to eat while you're riding with them isn't safe. Attempting to supervise your young ones as they eat and drive at the same time means your full attention won't be on the road, raising the risk of an accident. Letting your kids eat when driving increases the risk of choking. In such a situation, driving safely or pulling over quickly may not be possible.
Additionally, choking may go unnoticed because a choking child is often silent. Having food in a moving car may also result in motion sickness. To keep your child safe, don't allow them to eat as you drive. If they must eat in the middle of a journey, pack somewhere safe and let them eat.
3. Activate child safety locks
Child safety locks are an essential feature when it comes to keeping your young safe when driving. The idea behind them is to ensure doors don't unintentionally open when your vehicle is moving. Child safety locks are positioned on a car's rear doors and can be activated and deactivated using a lever or switch. Engaging the child safety lock keeps the doors from opening from the inside, ensuring kids can't accidentally open doors when the automobile is in motion.
Note that child safety locks can malfunction or become loose over time. So, check them regularly to ensure they're functioning correctly. If there's an issue, get the child lock fixed promptly by a professional.
4. Ensure the correct car seat recline angle when your child is asleep
Infants, particularly those under one year, are at a higher risk of positional asphyxiation, which occurs when the position of their neck and head blocks the airway, causing suffocation. When your baby falls asleep in the car, their neck strength might not be sufficient enough to hold up their head. To avoid this risk, ensure the car seat is correctly reclined through baseless installation or in its base.
It's your responsibility as a parent to ensure your young one's safety in a moving vehicle. Use these tips to keep your child safe while driving.