Car Safety: Things To Check Before Hitting the RoadDiana Stone
Taking an extra minute or two (maybe even less) is part of our routine when I buckle Bella in the car. It seems as though there are so.many.safety.rules to think about, but if you make them part of your routine, it’s a lot simpler to stay on top of it all when you’re rushing out the door.
You don’t need to do a full car seat inspection every time you drive to the store, but before long trips or on roads that you know can get crazy (freeways, rush hour), it’s a good time to look and poke around to see what may need some fixing.
Make a mental note (or heck, write yourself a real note) to start to do these before heading out and soon it’ll be just part of buckling your little one in the car. Remember to take your seat in for a professional inspection (hospitals, fire stations, or other local areas usually set them up) at least once a year and each time you purchase a new seat.
Here is our everyday checklist for the car (with a few tips for those every-so-often trips too!):
- Is the seat straight? Sometimes ours can tilt to the side from being bumped or pushed.
- Is anything facing them? When Bella rear faced, we had a mirror right in front of her that we could see her and she could see herself. Only at a car seat inspection, we were asked to move it to the side and not have it directly in front of her for safety. It was not something that I’d considered before!
- Are things put away? Imagine the force of a book or sharp toy in a car accident – or even hitting your brakes hard. Put only plush, softer toys in the car, and make sure when others aren’t being used, they are stored under a seat or on a seat back with a snap.
- Check the straps. They should never, ever be twisted. Car seat straps need to lay flat and snug on your child.
- Take off the coats. Puffy winter coats and heavy sweaters cause large amounts of air between your child and their straps. As big of a pain as it is, take off coats before buckling in.
- Where is the head rest? Your child’s head shouldn’t be taller than where the carseat head rest ends. If it is, it’s time for a new seat or a booster.
- Check the seat. I don’t like to sit on hard toys or crackers, and your child won’t either. Do a quick sweep of their seat before placing them in, you never know what you might find.
- Tug on the seat belts. Every so often, give those seat belts that hold the carseat in a good tug. Tighten up any loose straps and readjust if needed.
- Get organized. Before you leave, have everything within your child’s reach that they’ll need for the next little while. If they are old enough, explain that while the car is moving you won’t be able to give or help them with anything, and they’ll need to wait until you pull over or at a red light.
What are your pre-trip tips? How do you make sure your car is safety ready for trips and everyday use?
Are you baby safety savvy? We’re giving away two Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you keep baby safe in the car.
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