10 Important Tips To Childproof Your Car
Does your child fidget with the car locks or play with the seatbelt during a road trip? Then, it is advisable to have a few car safety measures in place to protect your little one.
By Lisa Anderson
Car seats and seatbelts are two popular safety measures that are not only effective in preventing accidents, but also required by law in most countries. While these safety measures are a step in the right direction, more can be done to ensure that cars are made safe and childproof, whether in a parked position or while on the road.
Here are 10 top tips to childproof your car:
1. Childproof door locks
Most car models have the option to enable door locks, which prevent children from opening car doors in a vehicle. This is especially useful when there are little children who are active and eager to open the car door while the vehicle is moving or, as soon as the car is parked. Or they may try to open the door while there is traffic or moving cars in the area. With a childproof door lock, your child will have to wait until you have disarmed the lock and can oversee their safe exit from the vehicle. Check your car’s manual to find out how the door locks can be enabled. If they are not installed, contact your car manufacturer for more information.
2. Childproof window locks
Locking the windows is another way to ensure that children are safe, whether the car is parked or locked. This will stop them from opening the windows and attempting to climb out. Window locks will also prevent them from throwing items at passing vehicles or on the road.
3. Don’t let objects be strewn around
Both small and large objects in the car could be potential choking or health hazards for toddlers and babies. Remove any loose items from the vehicle to ensure that injuries are reduced during an accident. Also, ensure that you do not keep hazardous items such as car cleaner liquid or windshield wiper fluids, within the reach of the children.
4. Use organisers in the car
You will want to have some handy items in the car for longer rides and sticking everything in the cubby hole is not always an option. A plastic organiser or remote control holder that hangs on the back of front seats will be especially useful. It can be used to keep harmless supplies such as wet wipes and sippers. You can also store some toys to keep the children busy while you drive.
5. Make sure foldable seats are locked into position
Children are adventurous and will try everything. A foldable back seat that is not locked could harm your child or allow them to crawl into the trunk of the car. This makes children vulnerable to injuries, especially in a moving vehicle, where you are unable to assist immediately.
6. Keep keys out of reach
This is a childproof safety measure to ensure that the vehicle’s operations are inaccessible to children. Additionally, make sure to remove the keys even when parked — you never know when a curious hand will try to press a button or try to put the car into gear! Keep kids away from the dashboard and educate them about the dangers of playing with controls in a parked car.
7. Add a bathroom rug
Childproofing your car is a great way to ensure safety — and to keep your car clean! Thin bathroom rugs can be used to catch spills and crumbs, if children are eating and drinking in your car. Simply cut holes for the seatbelts and place the rug over the car’s upholstery and under a safety seat for an extra layer of sticky finger prevention. Older towels can also be used. Make sure that the car seat is still stable and secure. Commercial car seat protectors can also be purchased.
8. Fasten unused seatbelts
Buckle any unused seatbelts and pull tight. This will remove the potential strangulation danger of unused seatbelts, especially if you have younger children, who love fidgeting with things. Check your car manual to find out about securing unused seatbelts for your car model or, search online for more ideas.
9. Install an extra mirror
Supervision is one of the best ways to keep your children safe in the car. An extra rear-view mirror aimed at the backseat will allow you to keep a close eye over the troops in the backseat. This means you won't have to turn around or take your eyes of the road for more than a few seconds at a time.
10. Be a responsible driver
Being a responsible driver is the best way to childproof your car and to ensure the safety of all occupants. Abiding by speed limits, avoiding alcohol and drug consumption before or during driving and putting away your cell phone, are important measures to help keep the roads safe. Enforce seatbelt use for all passengers and pay attention to traffic and potential hazards on the road and in the car. This helps create safer roads for everyone!
The author is a freelance writer and enjoys writing about subjects such as road safety and women in sport and travel.
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