Traveling by car is dangerous. Unfortunately, the statistics of road accidents is not improving although car manufacturers are doing a lot to prevent people from getting in them. We cannot influence the situation on the road, as well as be sure of the safety of other people’s cars. However, ensuring one’s own safety and the protection of your baby in a car seat during travel is possible.
Crucial Aspects to Consider
If you are going anywhere by car in cold weather, with or without a baby, the technical condition of a vehicle is essential. An undeniable rule is high-quality winter tires that should be installed as soon as the temperature drops below 280 degrees K. While the general rules of driving a car safely are well-known, there are important considerations when you are driving together with a baby:
- Take the selection of a car seat seriously: In the majority of cases, parents select it before the birth of their child. It is the right approach because you should already have it by the time you will drive home back from the hospital. If you have to buy one after the birth of a baby, there will be no time to watch all the car seat crash tests.
- Keep a baby entertained: Getting ready for a trip with a baby, there should be a lot to take care of. Keeping a baby entertained is vital because a crying infant in the car will distract a driver, which may lead to a dangerous situation or a car accident in the worst case. That is why keep favorite toys in easy access, especially if it is going to be a long trip. A tablet with favorite cartoons will also come in handy. Even though it is not a good habit, watching them for some time in a car seat will be more useful than harmful.
- Plan a trip during nap time: It is especially crucial if you are going to be the only parent with a baby. To make sure that a little one won’t whine in a car seat because of being bored, make sure your child will fall asleep when you start driving. Of course, if you are going somewhere far, ask someone to join you. Otherwise, a regular trip can become a dangerous event.
Above are the most vital considerations for parents who travel with their child by car. But when you are going somewhere in the cold weather, there are more rules to follow. Let us consider how to keep the baby warm in a car seat, as well as the rules to ensure the child’s safety.
Rules for a Warm and Safe Trip With a Baby
When it comes to recommendations and tips for dressing babies in winter, all of them will warn parents about the danger of putting kids in a car seat in winter coats or overalls. Of course, everyone wants their little one to be warm and safe. However, in the case of an accident, the fluffy padding of winter coats will immediately flatten. Thus, there will be extra space between the body of a child and the harness straps of a car seat. As a result, a baby will slip through the straps and be thrown from the seat. Of course, it is not a picture or situation every parent would like to think about. However, safety rules are written after real accidents. If you do not want to ever experience something like this, keeping a baby warm in a car seat, do not forget about the rules of safety from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Ensuring That a Baby is Warm in Winter in a Car Seat
First of all, some below rules refer not only to children of all ages but also to parents. After reading them, you will probably need to change some of your driving habits like, for instance, wearing a puffy winter coat in a car:
- Keep the carrier part of a car seat at home when it is not in use. In this way, a car seat will not be so cold, and the loss of heat of a baby will be inconsiderable when you place your little one in a car seat.
- Wake up earlier than usual. If you need to drive somewhere in winter, there are a lot of things you need to do. The nervousness related to being late will not be useful for a driver. Besides, be ready that a child won’t cooperate. Also, you will drive slower in winter. Thus, you will need more time to get to the destination than usual.
- Dress a baby in thin layers. Depending on the temperature, consider cotton tight pants and a bodysuit, or an onesie, as well as a fleece overall on the top of that. Make sure that clothes are tight but are still comfortable for a little traveler.
- Mittens, socks, a hat, and boots. Even though it is not allowed to put on a winter overall to keep kids warm, all the other accessories will help your little one feel comfortable.
- Tighten harness straps properly. After you place your baby in a car seat, close the straps, and check if they are tight enough. Make sure harness straps are secure and won’t open and that they do not prevent your baby from comfortable breathing. In the case of toddlers, it is also vital to explain the main precautions and why it is so crucial to be well-fastened in a car seat. The earlier your baby understands this, the better it is.
- For keeping a baby warm in a car seat, cover your child with a blanket, seat cover, or a winter coat. Regardless of what you choose, make sure it is warm. If you used to keep a blanket in the car in autumn, it is not the case in winter. Take it home together with a car seat removable part.
- A car seat cover is allowed, only if there is no underneath layer. Nothing should be placed between the body of a child and a car seat, as well as between the body and harness straps. For this reason, a sleeping bag is something that should not be considered as a way to keep kids warm in a car seat. Make sure that the seat cover you use is easy to remove when the car is warm enough.
- Use only accessories designated for a particular car seat. This refers to car seat covers or a sleeping bag. If the car seat manufacturer has not produced an accessory, this item was not crash tested. Thus, it is potentially dangerous. So, order a car seat cover of the same brand and the one compatible with your car seat model.
- Have an emergency bag. While traveling by car with a baby, such a situation like wet pants is already an emergency. Thus, make sure you have got spare dry clothes, an extra hat, mittens, and socks. Also, this bag should contain some blankets, baby food, warm water, and snacks if, for any reason, the way will take longer.
Baby in a Car Seat: Have a Warm and Safe Trip
The above precautions may seem too strict. However, traveling in the winter car seat requires additional preparations from parents. No one has ever planned to get into an accident. But those who have ever experienced an accident know how vital it is to follow safety rules when you travel by car.