You are a car fanatic and probably love your ride more than anything, it’s been like that forever. Now you want your little one to inherit this passion from you and simply can’t wait for that to happen. You are all amped up to take your future petrol head out for leisure drives.
But before you do that, just take a minute and think if a car with all the buttons, levers and windows is a safe environment for your ‘little mischievous’ yet?
Driving around with a child and ensuring their safety is a huge responsibility. This will probably be the most cautious you’ve ever been while driving. Knowing how to ensure your child’s during a drive out is very crucial. Hence we bring to you 10 ways by which you assure your child’s safety in the car.
Childproofing Car Doors
Before for a drive with your child, make sure to childproof the car doors. All cars come equipped with a child-lock system for the rear doors. Enabling child-lock means that one won’t be able to open the door from the inside and can only be opened once someone pulls the door handle from the outside. This comes in handy if you have a toddler at the back seat since you don’t want them to pull open the door while you are on the move.
You’ll find the child-lock switch once you open the door somewhere down below.
You can also make your child sit in the middle of the back seat, properly strapped so that they won’t be able to reach out to the doors.
Childproofing Car Windows
ow that you’ve got the doors childproofed, next thing you should do is make the power window switches inoperational. If your car has power windows then you can do this with the press of a button. You’ll find this switch next to the power window controls on the driver side. After pressing this switch, all the power window switches except the ones on the driver side will not be able to operate the windows. This is crucial while you’re riding with a child as it prevents children from pinching themselves with the car window while they’re busy going to town on those switches.
Again, seating your child in the middle of the seat with the seatbelts fastened can also prevent them from hurting themselves through the windows.
Always Make children sit at the back
It’s the most important rule while riding with children and the reason behind it is pretty obvious. Your child is much safer at the rear in case you encounter an impact. Also, if the impact causes the deployment of airbags then that too isn’t safe for a child aged 13 or below. The force with which an airbag is deployed can be very lethal for children. Hence the rear seats are best suited for children.
Turn off front Airbag
If due to some reason you’ve got no option but to seat your child in the front seat. Then make sure to turn off the passenger side front airbag. In such a case, it is imperative that you install a child restraint system on which your child should be seated in the front.
Deactivating the front airbags can be done with the help of your car keys. Refer to your car’s owner manual to know about the exact location of the deactivation switch and the procedure of doing it.
Using the Right Car Seat for your kiddo
Your car’s seats and the seatbelts are too big to safely buckle your kid for the ride. Hence choosing an appropriate car seat according to your child’s age and size is very important.
- Children below the age of the 2 years should not be seated in front-facing seats. Only rear-facing seats should be used
- Upgrade your kid to front-facing seats depending on their size, probably up to the age of 4 to 5 years.
- Always place the seat in the middle of rear seats, this being the safest position in case of an accident.
- Use the ISOFIX mounts to set-up the child restraint system. You can also the seatbelts to fix the child seats in case there is no ISOFIX mount. Refer to your owner’s manual to know the correct way of harnessing the seats and your child to it.
Remove Sharp Objects from your car
Especially in the case of infants, make sure to check the rear seats for any sharp object like scissors, window breakers, knives, etc. It is crucial to steer clear of all such elements around your child in the car as they can hurt themselves with it or probably cause a distraction for you while driving.
Also, make sure to check for any small objects like toys or coins which could be potential choking hazards for your child. They might swallow such elements while you are focused on the road ahead.
Don’t let your child eat something while you are driving
Again, a potential choking hazard can be the food. Especially for Indian road conditions, If your child tries to eat something while you are driving over a bumpy patch of roads, chances of your kid choking on what they are having increases significantly. This could also turn out to be a cause of an accident as you get distracted by what’s happening.
Suggested Read: 10 Safest Cars in India for Children and the Elderly
Don’t Leave Your Child in the car alone
Leaving your child alone in the car with the keys inside even for a few minutes can be very risky. You could end up locking yourself out while your child is strapped onto his/her seat. Things could go further south if you even left the engine running and your kid is locked inside.
Getting the car unlocked through other means could take a while and this could be a very scary time for your kid and could also affect his/her health.
Do not open the Sunroof while with your kids
If your car has a sunroof then refrain from opening it while you are out with children in the car. The obvious reason behind it being that the children will try to get playful with it and also try to stick their head out of the sunroof while the car is on the move. In both cases, they can end up hurting themselves tremendously.
Proper Seat Belt Fastening
If your kid is old enough not to use CRS, then you’ve got to ensure that the seatbelts of the regular seats have been properly harnessed onto them. They should not be able to move around more than one inch. However, you should also make sure that they are not uncomfortably restricted in their seats.
Make sure to use a three-point seatbelt for children which fits over their shoulder as well as their lap.0