Safety is my number one concern with my car- that, and that it looks good! You see it all the time on social media, car websites and tv, so thought it would be a great opportunity for me to share with you my thoughts and some ways of keeping your child safe in the car.
The biggest thing with kids in the car is their car seat. I don’t pretend to be an expert on what type is best and the cars safety star rating, nor do I have all the knowledge about fitting a car seat into a car. From the hive mind that is parenting groups, I know that extended rear facing is the safest for your child in a car crash, and also that even if you have a little bump you need to replace the seat ASAP. But how about the other things you need to consider whilst driving?
I try to prevent Isabelle from eating in the car wherever possible. If she does have to eat I usually ask a passenger to sit in the back with her. I also don’t allow her to have a dummy in the car when I’m on my own as once I was sure she was choking on it and I had to pull over on the motorway as an emergency – it turns out she was just snoring but it frightened me enough to quit the easy habit of giving it her on solo journeys.
If you have one then make sure you turn it on, it is normally activated in the door itself and you usually need to put your key in and turn it. Isabelle can now reach the door handle and has the strength to pull it open and the last thing I would want to happen is for her to pull it open on a busy road as I’m driving along.
This one is difficult because you have no way of stopping little ones from sleeping when you’re driving, but if they’re very small their head can fall forward and occlude their airway. There are a few things online which you can attach to the top of the seat and should your child fall asleep it prevents their head from lolling. But I worry about the safety of these should you have an accident. If you crash, the band could pull your child’s head back as their body moves forward and it’s concerning to think what the outcome would be.
These days it’s uncommon to have a young child in the front with a car seat. Many of the cars don’t have ISOFIX points on them, but you can theoretically use the seatbelt to secure them into the car. If you do this remember to turn off the airbag on their side (usually through the dashboard or by a key on their side of the car). If that should be deployed the impact could crush the car seat into the passenger seat behind or have too heavy an impact on a forward facing toddler’s body.
Regardless of all the safety measures, accidents do happen and one thing to remember is that if you are in an accident with your child, talk to your insurers straight away and they can pay for a child car seat replacement. If you’re injured make sure you get in touch with a solicitor or accident helpline to talk about where you stand with regards to your health and compensation and get yourself and your little’un checked out at the GP or hospital ASAP.
Do you have any safety tips? Let me know in the comments below.
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