Baby Safety Month: How to Keep Your Baby Safe on the Road
A car can be a dangerous place for any driver or passenger, even with the plentiful safety elements featured in today’s cars. No matter how safely you drive, there’s always the chance that someone will be texting while driving, or not paying attention to that red light, and run right into you. Thankfully, most cars are equipped with enough airbags to smother an elephant, as well as stronger frames designed to keep you safe in case of an accident. If you have an infant, it’s especially important to ensure that he or she is safe and sound before you hit the gas. Read on to find out how to keep your baby safe on the road.
Buy a Car Seat… and Install it Properly!
It’s one thing to buy a car seat, but a whole other ballgame to make sure it’s correctly fitted. In fact, studies show that 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly. If you’ve already installed yours, check it again. Either way, learn how to install your car seat properly, and check it multiple times before entrusting your child’s life to it.
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Never Leave Your Child in a Hot Car
It sounds like a no-brainer, but when you’re a frazzled parent running on three hours’ sleep (if you’re lucky), even the most obvious things can slip past your radar. With heatstroke being one of the leading causes of death in children, it’s more important than ever to ensure your child is never left alone in a hot car—windows open, or not. Even on a cloudy day, your child can develop heatstroke in the car, and quickly. Always check your back seats before leaving your car, even if you’re sure your child isn’t with you. If you see a child left in a car unattended, call 911 and get the child out of the car if possible. If the child is responsive, stay with him or her until help arrives. If unresponsive, spray the child with cool water to help lower his or her temperature. Never treat heatstroke with an ice bath.
Make the Most of Safety Features
If your car has automatic door locks, use them. Push-down/pull-up window switches will minimize accidental window closures, which can happen to the best of us and unintentionally hurt our kids. Auto-pinch/auto-reverse windows are designed to sense if an object (like an arm) is in the way of its closing, and will reverse direction if necessary. Interior trunk release allows people to free themselves from the trunk if accidentally locked inside. Check which features come with your vehicle, and use them whenever you can.
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Teach Your Child about Car Safety
When your baby is old enough, teach him all about how to stay safe on the road. Your child needs to know the importance of remaining seated and secured while you’re on the road. Try to make it fun for the child, as he’s more likely to retain information relayed to him via a game or activity.