These 5 common car habits can potentially put you and your baby's life at risk whenever you're out and about. Find out more here.
You might be surprised to find out that some common car habits that you got used to are actually risky for you and your baby. Whenever you have your baby inside your car, it’s very important to make safety your number 1 priority, since all it takes is a momentary lapse for an accident to happen.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Thinking that seatbelts and child safety seats are optional
Some parents think that buckling their children up is enough to protect them from injury. But the reality is that seat belts aren’t enough to prevent your kids from being injured should an accident happen. They might be a hassle to install, but child safety seats do save lives, and some countries are making them mandatory for kids inside vehicles.
Child safety seats can be pretty expensive, but they’re a worthwhile investment when it comes to your child’s safety. Look for a good quality child safety seat that will last a while, since car seats are recommended for kids until 8-12 years of age. Make sure to install it properly, and your child is secure.
2. Treating your child like a ‘small adult’
Your child might look like a ‘small adult’ but the reality is that they’re not simply small adults. Children should be seated securely when riding in your car, and it’s best to not let them sit on the front seat until they’re at least 12 years old.
3. Putting your children in the front seat
Did you know that the front seat is one of the most dangerous places that your child can sit inside your car? Even if your car has an airbag, the strength of the impact can still injure a young child. In fact, airbags can sometimes be the cause of injury, especially for little kids.
Make sure your child sits in the back seat, with an adult, and they should be on a car seat.
4. Using the head restraint as a ‘head rest’
Yup, you read that right. What you think is a head rest is actually a head restraint. It’s designed to prevent a person’s head from tilting back and whipping forward in case of an accident (whiplash).
Your head restraint should be raised no less than 2 inches below your head so that in the event of an accident, it can restrain the back of your head. Placing it too low can cause your head to tilt back, and the restraint could act as a fulcrum, which can cause further injury.
5. Using your car for storage
A lot of parents are guilty of this, since cars seem like a convenient place to store things.
However, it’s not safe since if you get in an accident, any loose objects inside your car can potentially become deadly projectiles due to the speed and strength of the impact. Make sure to store most of the things in your car’s trunk, and avoid putting any loose objects in your vehicle.