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New Baby? 5 Driving Habits to Make Immediately
When you have a baby or when you are pregnant, the last thing you would ever think of doing is putting your baby in harm’s way. You would never think of feeding her harmful foods or leaving him unsupervised in your home. However, you may be surprised that thousands of women unknowingly put themselves and their babies in danger whenever they head out in the car. Driving can be dangerous even for the best of drivers, but it can be perilous for sleep-deprived new parents who may not know the safest way of strapping their babies into the new car seat. Read on for some tips you can make immediately to make your driving experience safer for you and your little one.
Put Car Seats in the Center of the Backseat
The infant car seat is by far one of the most dangerous items that new moms have if it is not used properly. Many mothers install the car seat by themselves and place it in the backseat near one of the doors for easy access. However, this is one of the most dangerous spots if the vehicle is hit in the rear passenger door. In addition, you should look for a car seat that is top rated for safety in crashes.
More Car Seat Safety
While the old recommendation was to keep infants rear-facing in their car seats until they were 1 year old, the newest recommendation is to keep them rear-facing until they are at least 2 years old. Because infants have weak necks, the rear-facing seat protects them in case of a collision or a quick braking. In addition, you should only choose car seats that are designed for the height and weight of your infant and for your car. Car seats must be installed at the proper angle. Consider choosing a convertible car seat, which can be used for both rear-facing infants and forward-facing toddlers.
Keep Everything Attached
You should never have loose items floating around your car. This also goes for baby toys, mirrors and pacifiers. While a mirror can be a good investment for helping you to see your rear-facing infant, it should be securely attached to the backseat. Additionally, attach toys and pacifiers with short tethers to the car seat or to your infant’s clothing.
Do Not Forget about Your Little One
There have been numerous distressing stories over the past few years about babies who have been left in the car for an entire day after their parents forgot about them. Many of these children have even died. While you may not think that this could ever happen to you, be sure that lack of sleep and a busy schedule could leave you just as forgetful as some of these other parents were. To avoid this, put something that you need in the backseat, such as your cell phone. Then, when you open the backseat door to get your purse or cell phone, you will be reminded that your baby is also there.
Get Rid of Distractions
Almost 10% of new moms have been in a car accident while they were driving with their babies. This percentage is far higher than that of the general population and is equivalent to the accident rate among teens. Be sure to drive only when you are well-rested and limit distractions, such as music and cell phone calls, as much as possible, being sure to keep your hands on the wheel at all times.
If you are a new parent or are about to become one, you certainly have plenty on your mind. In the interest of your baby’s safety, be sure that you implement each of these tips immediately. If you’re concerned about your car’s safety rating, visit a St. George Subaru dealership to seek a new one. While you may not think that a car accident is going to happen to you, it only takes a split second to change everything forever. With these changes in safety, you will be at your most prepared to keep your precious little one safe in case of a driving mishap.