We want to keep our children safe at all times, especially when travelling in the car. Child car safety is not just about driving safe, or even taking extra caution on the road. On average children spend about 3 hours a week in the car with their parents, and around 96 hours a year travelling with grandparents.
Here we explain our top tips for keeping your children safe and comfortable when in the car. If you'd like to take a look at our aftercare services to make sure your car is secure, just click the button below.
At the forefront of every parent's minds when it comes to travelling with children, is car seats. There's a variety available for each stage in your child's development and size, so you can rest assured that your child is travelling safely and in the best possible child seat.
Up to 13Kg, your child should be placed in a rear facing baby seat. These seats are designed to sit in both the front and back of the car but it is advised to only use the front seat if absolutely necessary, and that the passenger airbag is switched off if possible. The rear facing baby seat gives extra support to the baby's head, spine and neck but only if they are small enough to fit inside.
Forward Facing Child Seats and booster seats are designed to offer protection to children with a weight of 15kg to 28kg. They are larger than the baby seats mentioned earlier and can be locked using the seat belt and built in latch system. Booster seats are for slightly bigger children where the seat belt offers protection to the child as well as securing the seat in one place.
These cushions are for children who are 25kg or more, they give additional height to a child so that the seatbelt is fully effective and fits them in the right position. They are also very useful if your child is often getting lifts from other parents from school or to and from activities. They are very lightweight and can be carried around easily. Note these are only suitable if the rear seats have head rests to offer suitable protection to the child.
Do not rush your decision when buying a car seat, be sure to buy one that fits both the weight and size of your child and one that is suitable for your own vehicle to ensure the safest possible seat for your child. The seat should fit into your car and you should be able to secure it easily as they vary from make to make. Fully read the instructions when installing to provide that the seat is fitted correctly and safely.
Be sure to test a car seat before you buy it, if you can't, make sure there is some sort of return policy if it doesn't fit. Finally, adjust your rear view mirror so you can see both the road behind you and also your child in the car, if you cannot view both there are many additional mirrors/accessories you can buy which will increase the view you have of your back seats.
Cars can get extremely hot, especially when it's sunny outside. You can protect your children from the heat and glare of the sun by installing window blinds. These can offer protection and relief as the little ones are less exposed to the rays.
Children can overheat easily and these are a simple, cheap and effective method of reducing this worry so you can focus on driving. However, when purchasing a window blind, test it out quickly to make sure it does not obscure your vision by causing another blind spot.
Don't forget to turn the window locks on too in the back so your child doesn't wind down the window and lose the blind. This also stops the child from climbing out of the window and prevents them from trapping any parts of their body in the car.
It's imperative that tyres are checked regularly to ensure that your car is safe. Tyres play a big part in overall vehicle safety, and on average it's thought that over 1 in 4 child carers are driving with poorly maintained tyres.
Overall in the UK unsafe tyres have been known to cause 1,075 accidents in 2016 alone, closely followed by break faults and mobile phone use. Tyre safety is child safety, and at Evans Halshaw we understand the influence that a healthy vehicle has in ensuring child safety on the roads.
If you're unsure about the current state of your tyres, book your Free Tyre Check now or book one of our Free Vehicle Health Checks for a thorough check of your car.
Article Updated on: 29/03/2017