Keeping your child safe on the road
Children’s safety while on the road should always be foremost on all parent’s mind. Read on to find out on how you can keep your kids safe on the road.
It is unfortunate that some people think that the only requirement to become a parent these days is: an active libido and a desire to procreate.
If there is such a thing as a compulsory Degree in Parenting, then many would have to re-sit their “Child Safety 101,” time and time again. We, at theAsianparent.com, are not surprised if a majority of the repeat sitters of that particular class turn out to be Singaporeans…as demonstrated by the photo above.
Airbags and babies don’t mix
Just last Friday in Sydney, Australia, a 15-month-old toddler was critically injured when the van the tod was travelling in smashed into the back of a parked truck.
The toddler, who was sitting on his mother’s lap without a seatbelt on, suffered severe facial and internal injuries, believed to be from an airbag being released. The poor tod was then taken to the Westmead Children’s Hospital with head and abdominal injuries.
Avoidable accidents such as this should not be happening, but it still does due to parents’ irresponsibility and lack of knowledge when it comes to children’s road safety. Since that Parenting Degree, that we mentioned, is but a fantasy; we have taken it upon ourselves to provide you with a crash course in Child Road Safety: An Introduction.
Buckle up; it’s going to be a bumpy ride
First of all, it goes without saying that each child deserves to have a seat of their own. If your child is a toddler or younger, then the first thing you should have done as a responsible parent is to purchase a good child’s car seat.
Do try to avoid sitting your child on your lap as this is dangerous for him and is quite possibly illegal. Once you have placed your child in the child seat, do tighten the harness.
Make sure that it is tight enough until you can’t pinch any slack across the collarbone. A loose harness is the most common mistake and can result in too much forward movement, head injuries, and even partial or total ejection — meaning your child goes flying out of the seat.
And a flying baby is the last thing you want to see.
Don’t put bulky clothes on under the harness that make it seem like it is tight enough when it’s not. It is crucial that you remember that blankets go over the baby AFTER the baby is buckled in, not before.
Place the chest clip between the nipples and sternum. This holds the harness where it needs to be to catch your child’s body, and it is designed to brake on impact. However, it’s only designed to brake on the hard, strong sternum. So make sure you do not position the harness too low as it will damage your baby’s internal organs.
Make sure the harness is flat and fits into the right slots. Take the time to straighten the belt if it becomes twisted. This can create weak points in the harness and also pressure points on your baby’s body that can hurt them.
Make sure the top of the harness goes into the back of the car seat level with or BELOW your baby’s shoulders, never above.
A baby’s car seat needs to be reclined at a 45-degree angle. This helps protect their body from stress on the weak neck holding up the big head, or the weak spine in an accident. A seat that is too upright can make a child’s head fall to the chest and restrict breathing so pay particular attention to this too!
Make sure the seat is super tight. When you push on the seat, it shouldn’t move more than 1 inch at the place where the seat belt or latch strap goes into.
And this is something that most parents might be guilty of; don’t add anything to your seat that didn’t already come from the manufacturer for your specific seat. Headrests may look nice and seem like a really good idea in the store but most infant seats already come with one.
Last and foremost, double check that you have done all that have been listed above…and if you have the time for it, triple check. The safety…and ultimately the life of your defenceless child depends on you so don’t be slack.
Start practicing responsible child road safety today and you won’t regret it tomorrow.