Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Safe Car Journeys With Children

Once you bring a little one in the world your primary concern is for their safety and well-being.  It can feel like an overwhelming responsibility but fortunately there are always lots of helpful articles to give you a helping hand and some much needed guidance. 

Until my children got to about four I was an avid reader of the guides on BabyCentre subscribing to monthly updates so I knew what my children should hopefully be achieving at each stage and eagerly following the tips on solving various childcare problems!  I never mastered the sleep one; luckily the boys seem to have sorted that out themselves after years of particularly bad sleep deprivation (1 am is not a good time to start the day, even with strong caffeinated drinks it’s a stretch!). 

Inchcape have a useful resource regarding travelling safely with children, its easy to follow, with recommendations like suggesting the use of isofix childseats, I never had these as they were more expensive and we had a very tight budget when the children were young (as we have got older and hubbie has been promoted life is a bit easier thankfully!).  Isofix fit into the car more securely.  But even then it’s important to check your vehicle handbook to make sure it’s fitted correctly.  Watchdog are also doing a feature this week on fitting car seats, which is well worth a watch if you find it tricky.

Although many of us realise the importance of a decent car seat but do you always remember to turn off the front airbags when you allow your child the rare treat of travelling at the front.  I know my husband did not realise the first time he allowed our son to join him at the front, when he arrived home he got a mouthful about safety!  So in the interests of martial bliss I do recommend briefing husbands/wives/significant others BEFORE they make a journey.

I always make sure we lock the rear windows too, after seeing far too many children dangling their arms out of moving cars!  I always panic if another vehicle gets too close it would be devastating.  We always use the safety switch so they cannot try and leave the car mid journey as the doors are safely locked and they cannot overrule that from where they sit.  Now they are getting older they travel better, I allow them to open a window if they are listening and keeping their arms well away.  But for toddlers and younger children it’s easy to just take temptation out of the way and keep everything locked tight.  It’s like the stage my youngest went through trying to flush toys down the toilet, toys could just as easily be thrown out of moving car windows causing danger to all road users!  When it comes to children be ready to expect ANYTHING and prepare accordingly.

Do you have any other tips for safe car journeys?

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