Whether you are doing a small city runabout or heading out on a highway for a long road trip, you should be more responsible for the children in the car with you. Ensuring that they remain safe while driving becomes more important, for they are not well aware and versed with the ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of a car. Following are some of the safety tips which you should follow if you are driving with a small kid or children in your vehicle-
Keep the child safety lock ON
To ensure that the children don’t open the doors of your car while it is in motion, you should keep the child safety locks on. It will ensure that the door or windows will not operate, which will keep the children away from possible injuries.
Keep their safety seat belts ON
Wearing seat belts while seated in a car is not only essential for adults but children too. Avoid carrying your children on your lap, as a safety seat belt is advisable to be used only for one person at a time. Try to encourage your children to wear seat belts before they start driving, not while the car is in motion.
Always keep the car locked when not in use
Apart from the general practice of keeping your car safe from possible thefts, locking a car also ensures that the kids might not be able to open the car and sit inside without your knowledge. If they do so, there are chances that the vehicle might get locked after a few seconds and the child they might not be able to unlock the car by himself. It can lead to potential threats like the use of controls inside the car or the suffering of heatstroke.
Use child seats for smaller kids
For kids who are too small or below three years, you should use child seats with child restraints. Select a child seat that perfectly matches the age, height and weight of your child. Nowadays, almost all cars are now coming equipped with ISOFIX mounts for child seats. Try to get child seats from the list of authorized accessories of your car’s manufacturer, for they are best suited to comply with the dimensions and design of the mounts and general seats.
Don’t leave your children inside the car unattended
Until and unless there is an adult to accompany your children while they are seated inside the car, it is unadvisable to leave your children inside the vehicle. If a child is left inside, he is open to potential hazards like turning on controls like air conditioner or ignition, which can cause unwarranted accidents. Also, there might be chances of such children getting kidnapped if they are seen alone in the car.
Keep an eye on the backseat
Some parents unintentionally forget to carry their children even if they are stepping out of the car for a short time, while it is parked. There are chances that the children might harm themselves unknowingly with any possible object kept in the back seat or even suffer from heatstroke. Before leaving out the car, check the back seat of the car once.
Keep your children remain calm and quiet
From a very young age, you should make aware your children of the practices and etiquette of road safety and travel in a car. Whether the car is being driven or is idle at a traffic signal, children should remain car and not jump or yell while they are seated at the back. Such disturbances can divert the focus of the person driving the car, which can lead to accidents.
Don’t allow kids to eat inside the car
There are chances that the pieces of food items might get stuck in the food pipe of the children while they are eating if a car hits a bumpy section of the road or potholes. It is a rare instance to happen, however, you should not take such a risk of allowing them to eat inside the car, especially if you are driving over not so smooth roads.
Keep loose items safe and secure
Ensure that the cabin of your car is free from loose items. You can use glove boxes and storage compartments below the centre armrest to keep small things in them. On the other hand, the larger items can be kept in the boot compartment, which usually is not accessible by the kids.
Don’t allow your kids to play around parked cars
A stationed car at a parking place can also be a threat if they are not locked or its handbrake is not engaged. To avoid a potential risk due to the uncontrollable movement of such a car, ensure that your children stay away from such cars and not let them play around with these unsafely parked cars.
Let them sleep in a safe position
While you are on a long road trip, a child might fall asleep due to fatigue. To ensure that the child is sleeping carefully and peacefully, check the position of the seat belt, child harness and headrests. If possible, make use of neck supports for the child to avoid the risk of falling and hurting the neck or shoulder.
Teach them how to cross the roads
It’s better that you teach your kids the correct manner to cross a road at their younger ages only. Teach them the importance of zebra crossings, watching the cars and looking both ways while crossing the road. Also, tell them about the right practice of checking left, then right and then again left while crossing the road.
Start teaching them about basic controls
While the children grow and attain a certain age of understanding basic things, you should make them aware of the basic controls of the car like headlamps, accelerator, brake, steering and gear lever. The children should start knowing what these controls are and how they work.
Roll down windows of the car while taking a reverse
We all need an extra amount of attention while reversing a vehicle. There are chances that the children might be creating a nuisance while you are driving, which can be troublesome while you are taking a reverse. To reduce distractions due to such nuisances while driving, you can carry out a couple of steps like rolling down the windows and turning the music system off, which will ease the attention required and avoid panic.
Make a safe seating arrangement for children
Children below 13 years should be encouraged to sit only at the back, as that is a more secure place for a child in a car. Even in a possible cause of a frontal collision, the children can be protected from injuries due to the deployment of airbags, as their bodies are more fragile and prone to injuries.