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Car travel safety tips for children

Baby Proofing Directory > Travel Safety > Car Travel >

Car travel is a way of life for many families with young children. Whether you are commuting to day care, play groups, or the grocery store these rules all apply. When taking a longer trip, make sure to pack lots of toys and activities to keep your little one entertained during the trip. If possible have a parent or sibling sit in the back of the car with the child for impromptu games of patty cake and peek a boo.

1. Pick a good quality car seat. Hand-me-down car seats are not recommended because you don’t know if they have been in an accident or not. Whenever possible, buy a new car seat for each and every baby for optimum safety. Always check http://www.cpsc.gov/ to check for recalls on your particular make and model.

Here are some more tips on choosing the right car seat:

a. Find a safe car seat for free on
Consumer Reports

b. Have your car seat professionally installed - you can get your car seat installed for free. You can find a professional car seat installer by zip code on the
Nataional Highway Safety Traffic Administration website

c. Periodically check to see that your car seat has not been recalled
with the US Consumer Product Safety Comission

2. If your child is under 1 year and weighs under 20 pounds, use an infant seat or a rear-facing convertible seat. There are many models that come in a travel system so that you can easily move the baby to a stroller, without disturbing them.

3. If your child is 1-4 years old and weighs 20-40 pounds, use a forward- facing seat/convertible seat.

4. All children under 12 years old should ride in the back seat. No excuses! If the baby gets fussy, pull over and tend to them. Under no circumstances should the baby be out of their car seat will the vehicle is in motion.

5. Adults should always wear their seat belts, even in the back seat, because children follow your example.

6. Never leave a child alone in a car. A closed car can overheat in a few minutes and your child could die.

7. In inclement weather, look for a car seat cover as opposed to bunting blankets or wraps. If your child is wrapped in a blanket prior to being latched in, they may be able to slip out of the seat completely in the case of an accident.

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