Car Safety Tips for Parents

Becoming a parent inevitably involves taking on chauffeur duties as well! Here are some essential car safety tips that will keep your family safe.

Car Safety Tips for Parents
"car seat installed!" by supafly is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Keep your baby in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Kids have the maximum protection when they are riding in rear-facing seats. Continue this till the kids are almost two years old; you can find the exact height and weight limit on the label on the side or back of your car seat.

Always check the car seat label. Look at the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Also, make sure the seat is still safe for your child as all car seats have an expiry date (usually six years).

Make sure the car seat is installed properly. There are two tests to help you check whether you have installed your car seat correctly – the inch test and the pinch test. The inch test is where a correctly installed car seat will not move more than an inch when you give it a good tug at the base where the seat belt goes through. The pinch test is carried out to find out if the car seat is too loose or too tight. If you can still pinch the fabric of the harness straps between your fingers after you've tightened your child into his car seat, the harness is too loose. A loose car seat can easily deposition itself in a crash and defeat its purpose.

Be careful while choosing toys for your car. Certain toys can injure your child during a crash. So, choose soft moldable toys over hard plastic ones.

Buckle right. Keep the straps over your child's shoulder. The harness should be adjusted so you can slip only one finger underneath the straps at your child's chest. Place the chest clip at armpit level.

Use a booster seat when it’s time. Use a belt-positioning booster seat, which helps the adult lap and shoulder belt fit better when your baby exceeds 40 pounds. Another alarm to go for a booster seat is if your child’s shoulders are above the car seat’s top harness slots.

A few quick car safety tips

  1. Research well on car seats to find the one that fits your child’s age, weight, and height.
  2. Check the manual and measure your child’s growth periodically so you know when it’s time to move on.
  3. Never buy a used car seat. They all have expiry dates.
  4. Have a professional fit the car seat for utmost safety.
  5. Be a good example to kids and wear your seat belt while riding in the front or back seat.
  6. Do not use any car seat accessories that are not certified.
  7. Consider buying a travel-friendly car seat if your family travels a lot. Check our buying guide on strollers to help you choose the right one!

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