As a new parent, you have a lot on your mind at any given time, from sleep schedules and sleepless nights to diaper changes and daycare bills. With so much to think about, something as seemingly mundane as car safety can fall at the bottom of your priority list.
However, whenever you and your baby are in the car, both of your lives can be at stake. Thus, taking certain precautions whenever you get behind the wheel can be vital.
Check the car seat
Make sure your child is safe in their car seat. This can mean:
- Ensuring the seat is installed correctly
- Buckling up your child properly
- Removing coats and bulky clothing
- Making sure there are no dangerous items within their reach
- Never leaving your child alone in their car seat
These measures can protect your child from serious injuries.
Being a parent means protecting your child. When it comes to driving, you can do this by driving defensively.
Avoid taking unnecessary risks, give other motorists space, and obey speed limits and traffic signals. Stay alert and focused on spotting – and avoiding – potential hazards.
Keep essentials within reach
Babies and children are safest in the back seat. However, that means that parents can often find themselves reaching back to pick up a dropped toy, put in a pacifier or give a baby a bottle.
To help your child safely, keep extra toys or pacifiers near you or consider attaching them to a child’s blanket or car seat.
Pull over if you need to
In some cases, stopping the car can be the best way to reach your destination safely. Pull over if you:
- Are too tired to drive
- Feel overwhelmed by or need to soothe a crying child
- Want to call or text someone
- Need to reach something for your child in the backseat
Taking a matter of seconds or minutes to stop the car and safely do what you need to do can help you avoid a serious crash.
We cannot control what other drivers do or force them to make safe choices. However, you can use these tips to protect yourself and your baby even when others make mistakes.