Car Safety when traveling with children
Child car safety is not complicated. It is a matter of remembering to ensure that they are strapped in properly, adequately cooled in high temperatures and not left alone in the car at all.
Seat belts and car seats – ensure that your child is strapped into a car seat or, if old enough, a seat belt that is protecting them. Road incidents can be quite sudden and unpredictable so even it’s a two minute car ride it is important to make sure their security is not compromised. Never drive until the seat belt is done up and if your child ends up removing it, pull over immediately to close it.
Supervision – even if you’re just hopping out of the car for 2 minutes to get something, do not leave your child sitting in the car alone. This is particularly important during periods of intense heat when the car can easily become overheated and cause dehydration and other health problems. Children love to explore and discover new things so to avoid situations where they lock themselves in the car and are unable to unlock the car, the safest option is taking them out of the car overtime you get out.
Footpath side – teach your child that they should be getting in and out of the car on the footpath side. Opening the door on the road where cars are speeding by is extremely dangerous for both your child and the driver of the other car who may not be expecting a door to suddenly open. In all cases, you should ensure that only the only point of entry and exit is from the side of the car that is on the footpath.
Child safety locks – if your car has childproof locks then use them to ensure that the doors cannot be opened unexpectedly, whether the car is still or moving.
Doors – when your child closes the door themselves, double check it to ensure they have been closed properly.
Windows – children love sticking their heads out of open car windows. Your child’s arms, legs and head should be in the car at all times. If there is no one in the backseat to supervise them then the back windows should only be open very slightly.
Set an example – always wear your own seat belt.
If you are the driver – stay off your phone, pay attention to the road when driving, don’t turn around to talk to your child when the car is moving and avoid speeding.