Family road trips can be lots of fun, but if you're traveling with an infant or small child, you need to take extra precautions. Even with a top-seeded car seats, the car can be a dangerous place for babies if parents aren't aware of some of the most common and often overlooked safety hazards. So before you hit the road with your little one, you need to know some of the most common car dangers for babies.
Power windows, loose items in the seat next to your baby, and improperly installed car seats are just a few things that can cause your baby to sustain serious injuries in the event of an accident. In addition to making sure you keep the seats free of loose objects, parents can keep their babies safe by registering their car seats with the manufacturer to stay informed of safety issues and product recalls. Always make sure you keep child safety locks on windows and doors, and never leave your child alone in the car — even if you're just making a quick stop at the store.
Once you've ensured your car is safe for baby, your family can sit back and enjoy the ride.
1. Improperly Installed Car Seats
Before you place baby in her car seat, check to make sure it is securely installed to prevent your baby from sliding forward or tipping over. According to Baby Center, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that nearly three of every four car seats are installed incorrectly. To keep this from happening, you can get your car seat inspected or installed at a local fire station.
2. Overheating In Enclosed Car
As WebMD mentioned, the temperature in your car can get very hot in a short amount of time, which is why it is never OK to leave your baby alone in the car. Children are more likely to suffer from heat-related illnesses because their bodies generate more heat and unlike adults, they are not able to cool themselves by sweating.
3. Loose Car Seat Straps
According to CBS News, placing your baby in a car seat with partially buckled straps can be dangerous. An infant can move himself into a position in which the straps strangle him.
4. Wearing Bulky Winter Gear
As Good Housekeeping mentioned, when your child is wearing a heavy winter coat, the car seat straps will be looser than necessary. Bulky coats will create space between your child and the seat belt that could cause him to be ejected from the seat in the event of an accident.
5. Using A Secondhand Seat
As Baby Center mentioned, you should resist the temptation to buy a used car seat at a garage sale. Car seat safety standards change often. And without the manufacturer's instructions or the ability to register your contact information, you are unable to make sure the seat is installed properly or be notified of product recalls.
6. Power Windows
As Parents mentioned, automatic windows can be a safety hazard for young children. If your little one sticks her head or hands out of the window and presses the switch, the window can close and injure her. To be on the safe side, be sure to keep child locks on the windows at all times.
7. Loose Items In The Car Seat
Unrestrained cell phones, soda cans, and even your family pet can injure your baby if they become airborne during an accident. As ABC News mentioned, unrestrained items in your car can cause harm to your baby in a crash.