If you’re the parent of a toddler or an infant, then you are most likely to have already spent time, money, and effort childproofing your home. And thank goodness that you did! Because we know that everyday objects in our homes can actually be hazardous and cause injuries, especially to children. Because of this, you do a lot to secure your home for little ones, like secure bookshelves to the walls, cover electrical outlets, and even install gates at the top and bottom of stairways. So childproofing the house is done? What’s next on the list? Your car.
Luckily for you, the concepts of childproofing a car are almost the same as for your home. So if you are one of the parents who already have childproofing experience, then this will be a breeze for you. I added some tips as well, knowing that a car is definitely not a miniature version of the house and hence, there are some exceptions to the already established guidelines. These tips will come in especially helpful if you are new to childproofing things. So, how exactly do you childproof your car?
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants and toddlers up to 2 years of age should ride in rear-facing car seats.
- If that is not possible, then you can position your child’s car seat in the middle back seat. This can prevent your child from reaching or toying with the car locks and doors as well.
- Another option is to place your child’s car seat in the back seat of your car as it is known to be the safest location for your child in the event an accident occurs. Just remember not to put children up front beside you as this is a dangerous location for them, even if it does allow you to keep an eye on them.
- Make sure that your child is securely fastened in the car seat: the seat belts should sit snug, firm, and flat across your child’s chest.
- Ensure that the safety locks are enabled on your car doors and that they are properly working.
- Consider installing a rear-view back up video camera so that you can see behind your vehicle when you drive in reverse. These handy cameras are becoming standard in many new vehicles. It is easy for a child to get under or behind a vehicle and they may do so playing.
- Remove any loose items from the back seat of your car. This can prevent your child from handling, playing, or throwing objects that may distract you from driving too.
- Keep your vehicle free from choking hazards and make sure that any chemicals are out of the child’s reach and are secured where children cannot access them.
- A portable DVD player or a music player can come in handy to keep your child entertained, favorite toys also work well for this such as plush animals. Do not attempt to drive and play with your child at the same time.
Lastly, the most important reminder of all: keep your eyes on the road! It can be difficult to stay focused with a little one in the vehicle as you are accustomed to attending to their needs. I know that your child’s safety is a priority but yours is too – remember that you are the driver and the lives of your passengers depend on you. Please, no texting or cell phone use while driving.