As a new parent, safety is obviously your top concern. There are many potential dangers when driving with a baby, and there is plenty of conflicting information about best practices. Here are some tips to keep your baby safe in the car.
How to Choose a Car Seat and Use It Correctly
Research the features of various car seat brands and models before you make a choice. Check safety ratings and read articles and comments in online parenting forums to find out if other parents have experienced any problems with a particular car seat. Make sure the seat you choose is appropriate for your baby’s weight and will continue to work as your child grows.
Be sure the car seat will fit properly in your vehicle. Some don’t fit right in all cars. Position the car seat so it is facing the rear of the vehicle and keep it in that position until your child reaches the maximum height or weight for the car seat. Secure the straps at the correct height. If the straps are too high, too low, or too loose, the baby may move too much in an accident and suffer serious injuries. Many local police and fire departments will check your car seat at no charge to make sure it is properly installed and answer questions.
Register your car seat so you will be notified promptly if the company issues a recall. Car seats have an expiration date because some materials, such as plastic and Styrofoam, can crack with time. Replace your car seat if it has expired or if you see any cracks or defects.
How to Prevent Injuries
Unusual noises or sudden periods of silence may or may not be cause for concern. Get a backseat mirror so you can keep an eye on your baby while driving.
If you and your baby are involved in a car accident, toys and bottles can become dangerous projectiles, and food can become a choking hazard. Don’t give your baby any toys that could cause injuries in an accident. Feed your baby before you leave and stop somewhere if your baby gets hungry.
If you are ever involved in a car accident while the car seat is in the vehicle, replace it, even if your baby was not in the car at the time and even if the car seat appears fine. There may be damage you can’t see. In many cases, car insurance will pay to replace a car seat if it was in a vehicle at the time of an accident.
Get the Right Insurance Coverage
In addition to following these safety tips, having the right insurance coverage can give you peace of mind. If you need auto insurance, Petruzelo Insurance can help you compare quotes from several major carriers to choose the coverage that matches your needs and budget.
Contact us today to get a quote.