Safety Tips for Driving with your Child this Holiday

by Liam

Whether you’re a mother on the move, a father taking his family to the beach, or someone who doesn’t identify with gender-specific terms (it is 2019, after-all), your family’s safety is undoubtedly the no. 1 priority this festive season.

In South Africa, our roads become increasingly more dangerous, especially during the holiday, and it’s essential to take into consideration all the risks involved when driving with your infant or older children.

One of the most common causes of infant fatalities is unintentional injury in car accidents. According to a recent study conducted between 2014 and 2018, an average of 27 children succumbed to injuries caused by car accidents.

Thankfully, parents can play a key role in protecting the children they love from road traffic injuries.

In order to minimize risks and ensure the safety of your child in a moving vehicle, it’s important to consider the following safety tips:

1. Make sure you have a quality baby seat that is fitted correctly

The safety of your children will be greatly improved if they are seated in a rear-facing baby seat up until they are around 2 years of age. For adults, seat belts distribute force to the strongest parts of the body. But to liken this, baby seats are designed to partially absorb crash forces, and spread remaining crash forces over a larger area of the body.  Infants don’t have the capability to absorb crash forces in the same manner, thus a quality baby seat is imperative in the event of a crash. A rear-facing baby seat distributes the impact along the entire back, neck, and head, putting less stress on any one part of the body. Always have the car seat checked regularly to make sure it’s properly installed.

(For some tips on how to properly install a baby car seat, watch the video above and check out How to Dad’s YouTube channel for other parenting tips.)

2. Don’t give your baby snacks or hard plastic toys whilst driving

In the case of an accident, toys can become dangerous projectiles capable of causing serious damage to the occupants of a car. Above that, food can also potentially be a choking hazard. If you decide to bring along some entertainment for the kids, make sure the toys are soft, like a teddy bear, or digital such as a CD player with a fun playlist of music.

3. Make sure your airbags are working and in good condition

Prevention is the best cure: most cars have airbags, but it’s always good to double check. Make sure that you don’t put your baby in a seat with an airbag by accident. And if you don’t bring your own infant car seat, ask about what type they can provide and how old it is. A car seat should never be older than five years.

4. Put your back doors on Child Lock

Child Lock’s there for a reason, and can prevent your child from accidentally opening the door and falling out. Not only does it keep them safe from themselves, but also keeps them safe from external threats, and will provide the driver with some peace of mind.

5. Do not drive if you are stressed and tired

Take turns with your travel companion if you’re not traveling alone. If you are alone, stop the car and go for a walk or pause to take a breather if you get sleepy. Giving yourself a chance to reset can help make the rest of the ride go more smoothly.

6. Take bathroom breaks

Take advantage of a rest stop when nature calls. This is so important during long trips and you should never miss the chance to get a baby out of his or her (used) diaper before you get back on the road. When you travel with a baby, you also want to travel with a changing pad. It’s a must-have when using public restrooms or spaces.

7. Practice safe driving

Be sure not to obstruct the driver’s view, and don’t leave the windows wide open, drive at a safe speed and don’t disregard road signs

8. Have the correct inventory for any situation

Always make sure you have a spare tire, car jack and emergency kit available. Ensure you have an emergency phone available with all applicable emergency numbers just in case. (Check out BOBA’s 25 “Must Have’s” for a car emergency kit if you need some inspiration.) 

9. If you can drive at night

Driving at night means your baby will spend more time sleeping and less time awake. You’ll be able to drive for longer stretches without needing breaks. Drive as long as you feel comfortable Be sure to switch drivers and rest when needed to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel.

10. Ensure discipline in the car

Kids can get rowdy over long trips, so it’s very important to keep an eye on their behaviour. Children should never obstruct the driver from the road or distract the driver by fiddling with buttons or windows. 

11. Don’t leave your kids unattended

One should try to avoid leaving your child alone in your car, especially in unknown areas. Rather take them along with you, even if it might seem like an inconvenience at the time.

12. Place a ‘kids on board’ on the back of your car 

Letting other drivers know of your precious cargo using a bumper sticker may get them off your back if they’re driving impatiently, and if not that will at least make them or other drivers more aware.

As a parent, your primary responsibility is keeping your child safe. You can drive as safely as you want to, but accidents can still happen. And like we said previously, prevention is always the best cure. You need to make sure you have done everything in your power to protect your children. Whereas we do offer a plethora of products designed to take away the severity of any emergency situation, if ever you find yourself stuck please don’t hesitate to reach out to our company (0118010000).

Get a Quote NOW!

Upload supporting Documents

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site.