Toddler Safety – Car Seats and Travel
- 5 Car Seat Buying Tips: What to do before and after choosing a car seat to ensure your toddler stays safe.
- Top 10 Car Seat Mistakes: The most common car seat installation and safety slip-ups that can easily be avoided.
- 7 Common Driving Mistakes Parents Make: Even the safest drivers can have some dangerous habits – how to be a better parent-driver.
Toddler Safety – Car Safety Basics
- Take care of any necessary car maintenance before your trip and make sure it’s fully stocked with tools like jumper cables, a car jack and spare tire.
- Buy hand sanitizer and travel sanitizing wipes to clean germ-infested surfaces your toddler or changing pad may touch.
- Keep all milk and refrigerated snacks in a travel cooler.
- Stash pacifiers in the front seat to avoid the one-handed backseat search while driving.
- Install a transparent sunshade on windows to protect your baby’s eyes and skin from UV rays. A static-cling shade is a safer choice than ones with suction cups, which can detach and become projectile in an accident
- Take as many breaks as your toddler needs to eat, be changed or expend some energy running around. It’s definitely going to take longer to get to your destination, so plan accordingly.
- For long trips, consider using disposable bibs, sippy cups and utensils so you don’t have to worry about storing and cleaning dirty dishes.
- Pack a map (or GPS unit), food, water, medical supplies, and a flashlight or battery-operated nightlight in case you get lost or stranded.
- Bring an abundance of toys and books to reduce stress levels. A portable DVD-player can also be a sanity saver.
- If your toddler starts to get car sick, encourage them to look out the window instead of reading or drawing. (Looking out the front window is the best option.) If that doesn’t work, pull over and give your toddler some air. To be safe, have water, snacks, peppermint candies and a “barf bag” on hand. Also, try and take more frequent driving breaks and have lots of car activities planned to distract them. If this is a consistent problem, talk to your pediatrician about medication options before your trip.