4 Ways to Protect Your Children While Driving
By Brooke Chaplan
Many people drive cars multiple times each day, and it is an activity that is so ubiquitous that you might not think about the problems it poses. However, driving a vehicle while transporting small kids can be fraught with potential dangers. If you are a busy parent or caregiver, you may need to take children with you when you run errands. There are steps you can take to mitigate the risks posed to kids when they ride with you.
Install a Car Seat
Each state has laws regarding car seats, their use, and the general ages of children who need to be in them during a drive. Some car seats might use different methods to be secure in your vehicle. It is important to review all instructions for installing a seat the right way. A car seat that isn’t attached or working properly could negate the safety features it uses to protect a child. As a child grows, they may need a car seat in a new size, or they can graduate to a booster seat.
Repair Vehicular Issues
Some problems with your car might be easy to overlook, but others should take priority before you drive the vehicle again. Any issue that could compromise the safety of the transport should be addressed by a car repair expert as soon as possible. Even something like uneven tire pressure could cause problems on the road. A qualified mechanic can also take a look at all aspects of the vehicle and find hazards that you may miss. They can go over the best course of action with you.
Secure Your Gear
When people think of auto accidents, they usually consider collisions with other cars on the road. However, there are other ways you or your child might face an injury during a drive. Anything remotely heavy should be stored in the trunk so as not to injure anyone during a sudden stop. Don’t place heavy items on the shelf behind the rear seats of the car. You should make sure all children are properly secured with belts.
Use Window Locks
Children are curious by nature, and the power windows on your vehicle are a potential source of injury to them. Older kids might be tempted to play with the switches that operate the windows. You can teach children not to mess with the buttons, and you can check to make sure all hands and feet are clear before you raise the windows. Small children can injure fingers or hands in power windows if one is not careful.
The odds of you getting into any kind of auto accident might be minimal, but there is no reason not to take extra precautions to make sure small kids are as safe as they can be during any car rides. In addition to the tips above, make sure that you don’t leave small children unattended in or around cars. You might not be driving if your vehicle is stationary, but playing alone or around other vehicles that might move presents more danger to small children.
About The Author
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
*Photos courtesy of Brooke Chaplan