Traveling with children in the car is a fact of life – but cars aren’t really designed with children in mind. That’s not to say they’re inherently unsafe or anything, just that most cars are designed for the comfort and safety of adult passengers, hence why you need special equipment to ensure the safety of smaller children.
There are easy and hassle-free steps you can take to make your car safer for children. Some are fairly obvious, like insuring child seats are properly installed and that seatbelts are fastened correctly. There may be others you haven’t thought of, however. Here are just a few common-sense safety precautions to make sure your journeys are properly equipped.
Kids love to fidget and mess with things. As a kid, I once opened the back door of my parents’ car when we were driving down the highway. Had I not been properly buckled in, it could have been a major disaster. Your child, too, might tug at your car’s door handles, making it difficult and dangerous to drive the car. Child safety locks are a must – they prevent the rear doors of your car from being opened from the inside. Before driving, make sure that these locks are engaged, keeping your children safe.
Clean Your Car
A dirty car is an unhygienic car. Dust can irritate your child’s eyes and skin, and possibly create infections. Crumbs or spilled beverages can produce bad smells or attract bugs. Spilled food can build up in crevices in the seats, which could jam or otherwise disable seatbelts and buckles. Keeping your car clean and tidy will help prevent these sorts of accidents.
Limit the Accessories
Especially on long car trips, you do want to have toys and books and things to keep your children entertained and happy. However, too many toys inside the car can cause distraction and injuries. Your children could topple over reaching for a toy that’s out of reach, for example. Make sure any toys you bring with you are accessible, and don’t go overboard and load up the car with excess things – another key part in keeping your car tidy.