Baby Safety – Car Seats and Travel
7 Common Driving Mistakes Parents Make
- Using cell phones. If you absolutely must – meaning there’s nowhere to pull over and it’s an emergency – use a hand-free attachment, but try to stay off it all together, especially with your baby in the car.
- Putting loose items in the back seat. It seems innocent enough – a flashlight, a cooler and a hammer lying on the car’s floor, out of reach for the baby but convenient for you. Yet if the car was to lose control – swerving, flipping, crashing – these harmless household items could hit, even kill, your baby. Store as much as possible in your trunk and never leave anything lose in the back seat that could detach and become a projectile.
- Breastfeeding while driving. It might be tempting to unbuckle your baby for a nursing or burping session and keep on driving, but don’t. Even if it turns out to be twice an hour, always pull over and take care of the baby safely. Traveling with a newborn can take up to twice as long as it normally would, so plan accordingly.
- Being distracted. The children are fighting in the back seat; you didn’t have time to put on your make up, so you use your rearview mirror at red lights; you’re frantically searching for a lost toy with one hand. Sound familiar? It’s estimated that distracted drivers cause 4 out of 5 accidents.
- Not wearing a seat belt. Besides being safe, if you want to set the tone that buckling up is non-negotiable, make sure your child sees you walking the walk. They’re more likely to follow the rules if from the youngest age they’ve seen you strapped in as well.
- Forgetting to check the tires. Before you head out on your trip (and once every other month), check to make sure you have enough air in your tires. Having a blowout, especially if you’re traveling on high-speed highways, can be fatal.
- Road rage. Yes, other drivers on the road can be infuriating, but tailgating, yelling, beeping, and swerving is dangerous, creates a tense environment, and sets a poor example for the impressionable baby in the back seat.