Planning ahead now for the arrival of a baby represents an intelligent choice.
If you will welcome an infant into your household soon, you’ll want to ensure your vehicle provides a safe, comfortable environment. Taking these six precautions to prepare your car for baby contributes significantly to your baby’s enjoyment of traveling.
1. Inspect Your Vehicle before Placing a Baby Inside
The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety posts vehicle crash test results. You’ll want to select a vehicle meeting your safety standards and make sure it obtains regular maintenance in order to ensure safe travel with a baby on board. A well-maintained vehicle won’t break down and may be less likely to be involved in an accident.
2. Buy the Best Car Seat
Few challenges concern parents as much as choosing the best car seat for a newborn. Safety experts and state laws mandate their use. If an auto collision occurs, an unsecured or improperly secured baby could suffer fatal impacts. The selection of a state-of-the-art secure, comfortable baby car seat proves essential so don’t skimp on investing in this necessity.
Car seats range in price from but generally speaking you want the seat that best fits your child, fits your car and you can install correctly every time.
Experts recommend always purchasing a new car seat; don’t buy one of them second hand or accept a hand-me-down. Investing in a new, state-of-art baby car seat helps safeguard your infant.
In the United States, newborns and infants must travel in a rear-facing baby seat. Children should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years old. Though some state laws still only say until age one.
3. Install Your Infant’s Car Seat Correctly
Since different manufacturers publish very specific installation manuals, it makes sense to consult this documentation along with your vehicle manual carefully when installing your new baby car seat.
The direction of a child passenger in the vehicle must change over the course of time as the youngster grows and gains weight and height. Experts recommend placing a newborn in a rear-facing position but changing the seating to a forward-facing position when the child outgrows the seats specific height and weight ranges for rear-facing. Again it is recommended to keep children rear facing until a minimum age of two, preferably longer.
To comply with the regulations in your state in the USA, it makes sense to follow your manufacturer’s baby seat installation manual closely and then ask a local Child Passenger Safety Technician to double check your installation procedures and placement with your baby present.
Anchoring the seat firmly proves vital in ensuring the infant’s safety. Adjust the harness strap snugly and keep the harness clip at armpit level.
Those are the essential items to prepare your car for baby, what else might you do?
4. Consider Window Tinting
Never, ever leave your child unattended in a parked vehicle!
In some locations, hot weather can transform the interior of an auto into a very hot environment. Infants impacted by high temperatures have no means to obtain relief from the heat in the absence of adult supervision.
Some experts recommend parents consider reducing hot temperatures in a vehicle by investing in window tinting or window coverings. If you select window coverings, make sure your infant cannot become entangled inside and that if they come off during a crash, they will not cause injuries. Tinting represents a safer option.
Download our report: Common Car Seat Mistakes and How to Fix Them
5. Maintain a Clean, Hazard-Free Vehicle
You might want to consider having the vehicle detailed before placing a child inside for the first time. All clutter should be removed from the interior to prevent items from becoming hazardous projectiles if a roadway accident occurs.
You should give your upholstery a good cleaning. You never know what germs are lurking (and what your baby might get into while your making a sharp left)
Since babies can be messy, consider taking along extra cleaning wipes. Investing in seat coverings may prove advisable but make sure the child restraint can be used with a seat cover and can still be installed correctly.
6. Include a Baby Care Kit
Finally, you’ll want to add a baby care kit to your vehicle. Pack essentials such as sippy cups, wet wipes, extra diapers, changing pads, cleaning cloths and infant clothing.
One additional smart vehicle modification to consider involves installing a protective rubberized mat in the trunk. If you transport baby strollers, playpens or other equipment, this step could help protect the vehicle’s fabric against soiling.
By taking these precautions, you’ll help your baby enjoy a more comfortable and safe travel. Everyone will enjoy your next trip!
How else do you prepare your car for children?
Guest post: David Moss. Born and raised in Detroit, David had no choice but to become a car enthusiast. His mother swears his first word was “car.” As a young freelance writer, he is on a mission to turn his passion for cars into a career. You can follow him via Twitter @davidcmoss
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