Traveling with a toddler on board, the driver is expected to be more careful and concentrated.
Similarly, if you are going to have your baby with you in the car, you should consider learning about car safety for babies.
No one prays for accidents; however, they are quite inevitable. If a crash happens when a baby is in the car, the baby is obviously the most vulnerable person.
Thus, it is strictly advised that you take into consideration all the car safety tips that’d keep your baby safe and secure while you’re driving.
You can get a car safety seat for babies, or integrate other safety features that can keep a child safe.
This article will cover quite a lot of information regarding car safety for babies. It’s definitely going to be an interesting read.
Car Safety For Babies
Firstly, you should know that there are different types of restraints and seatbelts meant for different people.
What does this mean? There are children seatbelts and adult seat belts.
Also, in different countries and/or regions, designated authorities have made out rules on how people should drive when there’s a baby in the car and the things they need to do to ensure the baby’s safety.
1. Never leave a baby or toddler alone in the car
It doesn’t sound weird to say that kids can be careless with anything they see; they’d want to touch and exploit everything they see around them.
Thus, leaving a baby or even a toddler alone in the car can be very dangerous.
The kid may start playing with the door switches or other things he/she could lay hands-on, which can be very dangerous.
Another thing is, we all know that the inside of a car can get very hot even when at low temperatures.
You may think about the AC – it’d keep the car cool, no doubts, but babies don’t need too much of that.
In summary, don’t just leave a baby alone in the car irrespective of your reasons – it’s a very dangerous act, and it’s an illegal act in virtually all states in the US. You can be convicted for such an act.
More so, always turn off the ignition if you’re not driving, and a kid is on board.
2. Keep loose objects at a safe place
When a crash occurs, obviously, loose objects will fly around, these flying objects can hit the baby in the car, causing serious injuries or even killing the baby.
So, how do you deal with loose objects that are liable to fly around? The best thing to do is to keep such objects or items behind the cargo, the boot, or in a box.
When these little items are in a safe place, they won’t fly around to hit the baby.
So, this is a car safety tip for people that drive all the way with their babies or toddlers.
3. Use the seatbelt or restraints always
Kids may find a way to undo the straps and buckles that you use to fasten them up, when you notice such things, stop the vehicle and get back to do the buckles.
It is not safe to continue driving while the baby in the car is not secured with a seatbelt (well fastened).
Mostly, people use booster seats to keep their babies and ensure that all seat belts are done.
Just as you will always keep yourself in a seatbelt to stay safe, ensure your baby is always wearing a seatbelt.
If your baby always undoes the buttons and belts used to fasten him/her, you should try getting a toy or whatever that would distract him/her from the buckles.
The distraction should be something that’d keep the baby engaged until you get to your destination.
When a baby on board a car is not playing around with critical things in the car or moving from one place to another while the vehicle is in motion, the baby is obviously safe.
Get childproof locks to keep your baby from opening the door while the car is in motion.
We’ve talked pretty much about baby restraints and seatbelt; it’s time to explain further – Child Safety Seats.
4. Child Safety Seats
Not all cars have a rear child’s seat, or rather, the rear child’s seats in cars aren’treally comfortable as child restraint or booster seats.
It is better to use a baby or child car seat – they come in different sizes and are meant for different ages.
Interestingly, you don’t have to buy restraint seats always; you could use one for your baby until he/she outgrows the height that’s right for your child’s height and weight.
Make sure the seat is fitted properly in the car and that your baby or toddler is securely strapped.
There are standards for child restraint seats; kindly read up your state’s policies and standards for using such seats for your baby.
Also, do not go for used restraints seats (second-hand), such restraints seats may have faults, broken components, and may not include everything that’s needed (including the user manual).
The user manual is important; it guides you on setting and using the restraint you just bought.
Although booster seats or restraint seats for kids are generally set up following a similar pattern, you need the manual to make things easier.
Tips for buying a restraint baby seat
- Before you pay for the seat, tell the seller that you wish to test the seat in your car to see if it’d fit perfectly.
Try out this test with every seat you want to buy and make sure you pick the one that perfectly fits into your car.
- It is advisable to buy a restraint seat that’s the perfect fit for your baby. If you buy a car baby seat that’s bigger than your baby (because you want him/her to use it for a long time), it would not perfectly protect the baby when a crash occurs.
- Second-hand car baby seats are not advisable, but if you must buy them, ensure that you check them out thoroughly.
Types of Car Safety Seats for Babies
Majorly, we can easily classify safety seats for babies into three categories, they are:
- Infant-only Child Safety Seats
- Convertible Child Safety Seats
- Car Beds
Infant-only safety seats: this type of car baby seat is comfortable for all babies. It comes with up to four straps, two for the shoulder, and the other two for the hips.
However, all the straps connect to a buckle that’s between the legs. You can use this car safety seat for babies that weigh up to 22 pounds or 35 pounds maximum.
If your baby weighs more than 35LBS, check the user manuals, some infant-only safety seat is available for babies that weigh more than 35 LBS.
Certainly, this seat is for newborns, when the baby grows up to 7 years; obviously, you cannot use an infant-only car seat for him/her, try other child safety seat types.
Note: any seat you’re buying for an infant must be a rear-facing baby seat. When the baby grows to a toddler, you can go for forward-facing seats with harnesses.
As the child keeps growing, you could get a booster seat, and when he’s up to 12 YO or older, he/she could use regular seatbelts.
Convertible child safety seats: getting a flexible child safety seat can be a nice option.
This type of seats can be used in rear-facing and forward-facing positions; hence, the name convertible child safety seats.
You can continue to use this seat until your child outgrows the recommended weight and height in the user manual. Some of these seats can be suitable for toddlers.
Car beds: Consider getting a car bed for your weeks-old baby as none of those types of seats mentioned above will be a perfect fit.
A car bed is mostly recommended if your baby is preterm or weighs below a minimum.
Ensure you’re buying an approved car safety seat for babies, and from a reputable retail store.
Car Safety Tips for Babies
- The best place to install a car baby seat is at the center of the back seat. However, you can install a booster seat in the front when the baby is of age – at least 8 years of age.
- If there’s a pet on board, too, do restrain the pets traveling with you with a pet harnesses or your car seatbelt.
- Always take time to look at the onboard baby and ensure that the baby’s arms, legs, and head are all inside the car. Children can get close to the car window and try to get their hand out of the window for whatever reason that may be on their mind at that time.
- It is advisable to integrate childproof door locks. This will make it impossible for your child to mistakenly open the car door while you’re driving. Interestingly, some cars have this feature – revisit your car’s user manual to check if your car has the childproof door lock feature.
- Never allow a loos item to be found carelessly lying on any surface in the car. Put all loose objects and items into a glove box or in the car trunk.
- Distract your child with anything possible, chats, singing, discussion (even when you don’t understand what he’s saying, just respond like you got the message); most kids love it when it appears to them like they’re actually chatting with a grownup. There are quite other ways to distract your baby from focusing on the straps used in fastening him/her.
- Play the child’s favorite music or simply play songs that are meant for infants. If your child loves singing to a particular song, play the track and sing along. Audio stories are still a good way to distract your child.
- Give the baby snacks at intervals and also provide handheld baby games. The baby wouldn’t bother about anything else asides the handheld game.
- Stop at intervals to go and sit with your baby if the journey is a long one, and when it appears the baby needs attention, don’t hesitate to pay attention.
- Until a kid is at least 7 years old, it is advisable to use car safety seats for kids; don’t put the kid into a normal seatbelt.
- Don’t smoke when driving with a kid on board, and don’t play extremely loud music.
- Airbags can harm your child, that’s the more reason to keep the baby at the back seat.
- When shopping for a car safety seat for babies, ensure you’re buying a federally approved, age& size-appropriate car seat.
- Kids, when onboard the car, should be placed where they’d directly face the sunlight.
- You can consider getting a sticker that informs other drivers that you’re driving with a baby is on board.
- Before you, select/change gear, quickly check to know if your kid is just behind you to avoid hitting him unintentionally.
- Apply every possible caution you believe will help to keep your baby safer while you drive all the way. Even when there are other passengers in the car, keep your baby in a separate seat and fasten him/her up.
This article has tried to cover quite a lot of handy tips regarding how you can keep your baby/toddler safe while driving.
The main takeaways are these: use the right baby seat and install the seat at the recommended position in the car’s rear seat.
Also, different states and regions have different child safety laws – you should read up the laws for your state and abide by the statutes.
Furthermore, this article is for information purposes, and we believe you actually got the important information you seek.
For more news and articles regarding car safety tips and features, kindly toggle our homepage.
Sign up to our newsletter to receive updates when we publish new articles. Do have a great day ahead, and stay safe.