Keeping Your Baby Safe when Driving – Common Seating Mistakes You Should Avoid
Driving may seem comfortable and even enjoyable for you, but it can be a rough experience for your little one. Babies have fragile bodies that are easily affected by the small vibrations, bumps, and turns. Unfortunately, most parents do not realize that babies require specialized seating conditions for a safe and comfortable drive.
Here are some common mistakes that most parents make when driving with their kids, and recommendations on how to avoid them.
1. Failure to Buy a Baby Car Seat
It is not only unwise not to buy a baby car seat but also illegal as the law requires that every baby weighing over 60 pounds be strapped in a baby car seat or booster seat. In fact, a baby car seat should be bought before the baby is discharged. Unfortunately, some parents simply lay their infants on the back seat or hold them in their arms. This not only land the parents into trouble with the law but also exposes their babies to a myriad of risks.
A baby car seat is absolutely necessary and should be used as soon as the baby is fit to sit. Confining your loved one to the seat will help him/her get used to the experience and the special design will aid in a smooth transition to the ordinary car seats as he/she grows bigger.
2. Holding the Baby
As a loving parent, you would be forgiven for thinking that holding your baby in your arms when travelling is safe. For other parents, the immense love for their young ones cloud their judgment as they cannot resist holding their babies close. It is instinctive to keep the baby safe, but holding him/her in your arms is a recipe for disaster should an accident occurs. For instance, if the car suddenly braked the baby would fly off your arms and be tossed forward.
To be on the safe side, it is important to always have the baby strapped into his/her baby car seat. Baby seats have protective belts that hold the baby firmly in place when accidents occur and reduce chances of life changing or even fatal injuries.
3. Failure to Upgrade Baby Car Seat
As your baby grows, he/she will need bigger cloths and a bigger car seat. Since babies tend to grow fast, baby car seat manufacturers produce seats of different sizes. The ideal seat size for your baby will depend on his/her size and weight, and you will need to upgrade to a bigger model once your baby exceeds the limit size and weight. As such, it is important to always monitor how well your baby fits in his/her seat; check to see that there is not much free space left and that the seat does not squeeze the baby too tight.
Alternatively, you can go for a one-size-fits-all baby car seat designed to suit babies of all sizes and weight. These car seats are adjustable and can expand as your baby grows. However, they go for a higher price compared to ordinary baby seats; nevertheless, you get to save some money in the long run as you do not have to replace the car seat.
4. Sitting for Prolonged Periods
A lot of light has been shed on the negative health effects of sitting for prolonged periods. While these negative effects take some time to manifest in adults, they can substantially undermine a baby’s health and cause stunted growth.
To this end, it is important to realize that a baby car seat is not sufficient for a safe and enjoyable driving experience for your little one. The infant’s fragile muscles and bones need to stretch every once in a while, and the recommended limit for keeping a baby seated is at most four hours. As such, it is important to unstrap the baby and hold him/her in your arms after about every hour. Alternatively, you can go for a reclining baby car seat that can allow your baby to lie down when he/she gets tired of sitting.
This will give the child the much-needed space to stretch and relieve fatigue and back pain. A comfortable experience for the baby will mean a comfortable experience for you too as fatigue and back pain will make the baby restless and cause him/her to cry.
5. Sitting Behind an Airbag
Air bags are designed to cushion you from the devastating impact caused by car crashes and other accidents. However, the airbags also have an impact on the face and upper body when they deploy, and the experience can be quite painful for an adult and even fatal for a baby. Unfortunately, most parents do not realize this and many others never anticipate an accident befalling them and their beloved babies.
Regardless of how confident you may be in your driving skills, it is always advisable to seat the baby away from the direct line of an airbag. No one banks on an accident, but it is important to realize that accidents are unpredictable and can occur to anyone. To this end, the best position for your baby’s car seat is always the back seat.
The baby’s safety should not get you worried as quality car seats have mechanisms put in place to protect the baby in the occurrence of an accident. Your baby is not as hardy as you, and while a car seat may save your life it may also cause asphyxiation and nasty injuries to your young one.
Just like cloths and feeders, a baby car seat is a must-have for every family that plans on driving with baby on-board. Baby seats not only make the experience comfortable for your little one but also keep him/her safe in case accidents occur. To be on the safe side, invest in the best quality baby car seat in the market since your baby’s well-being and even life may be dependent on it.
There are numerous brands and models of car seats to choose from, and you are guaranteed to find one that suits your young one perfectly. Also ensure that you go through the user manual so you may have an idea of how best to handle the seat.