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An article previously published by Katriza on Mommy Engineering blog.

The Ultimate Guide to Child Proofing Your Car

Whether you are an expectant mom or a mom of babies, toddlers, or young children; these tips will help you keep your children safe while in tow and tips to child proof your car.

With this guide, you will be able to child proof your car – I’ll tell you about different ways to keep your children more secure in your car that you may not have thought of.

The Ultimate Child Proofing and Child Safety Guide for Your Car

If you’re an expectant mother, you probably know by now the importance of car seats but there are other dangers to be aware of. Below is a list of child proofing tips to keep your children safe while in your car.

Protection from the sun

  • Sun Shades You may already have one for your front windshield to keep your car cooler while you’re away but sun shades for the side and back windows are also really helpful, especially if you have children. During the ride, side sun shades could help block the sun and keep your child cooler and more comfortable. My son hated the sun in his face and would scream when I would turn the corner and the sun would be in his eyes.
    • I also recommend the back window shades because not only does this help to keep your car cooler, it also helps by blocking any additional sun rays from deteriorating your child car seat’s plastic shell (deteriorated plastic can warp and become brittle).
  • Tinted Windows Another way to keep your car cooler and more comfortable for your children is to get your car windows tinted. This will help block the sun rays and keep your car much cooler. I also recommend getting a front windshield sun visor banner strip that will also help block the sun, especially for the front passengers but it also has helped keep the sun out of my children’s eyes when the car’s sun visors do not help.
  • Car Seat Protectors For car seats to be installed properly, they must not be able to move more than 1 inch in any direction. Properly installed car seats really push on your car’s seats and cushions and can sometimes even puncture them. Car Seat Protectors are designed to protect your car’s seat from your child’s car seat and it also helps to protect your seat from inevitable spills and messes. Some also have pockets that doubles as additional storage for your child’s needs.

Turning Off Automatic Capabilities in your Car

There are many automatic capabilities available in newer cars that we love because they make our lives easier. Here are a few that you may want to turn on/off to keep your child safe in and around your car.

  • Window Locks – All my windows are automatic and a single push of the button makes it go all the way up or down. Although convenient, many children have hurt themselves or ended up dying because of these windows. I have my car window locks ON at all times preventing my kids from playing with their windows in the back seat.
  • Child Safety Locks – Most cars have built in child safety locks for the rear passenger doors. This allows parents to keep our kids inside the car at all times. My 4 year old son can now take his car seat restraints off and will try to open the door. He could easily run into traffic and get hurt.
  • Self-Closing Trunks – Although I love this feature of my car, my kids have run under my closing trunk door and have hit their heads.
  • Self-Closing Doors – Some cars and vans have self-closing sliding passenger doors.
  • Running Boards – Running boards allow you to easily step out of a tall vehicle and some have running boards that drop down once you open the vehicle door and vice versa. My parent’s Lincoln Navigator has this feature and I’m always afraid of my child’s foot getting caught in it.
  • Cigarette Lighters – Some cars still have cigarette lighters in the rear passenger seats where children could easily access and unknowingly hurt themselves using them.

Car Organization & Storage Tips

  • Cleaning products & Car Maintenance products – Keep them out of reach of children. If you carry cleaning or car maintenance products in your car, place them in a secure location in the trunk. Do not place them in rear passenger storage consoles, compartments, or cup holders.
  • Overhead Compartments – Some cars have small overhead compartments in the rear passenger area that children maybe able to reach and open. Ensure items inside these compartments are not heavy and are safe for children (no pens, etc)
  • Car Floor Mats – Invest in car floor mats that have no slip features. This ensure the mats do not bunch up and become a tripping hazard for your children.
  • Car Storage Organizer – These are useful products that can carry and organize all your car needs so you can easily find them. This helps prevent any from ending up on the floor where your child could trip over them.

Pet-to-Child Safety

Keep your pets and your children safe in the car by placing pets in a sectioned off area of your car away from your children using a gate or crate.It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see young children’s deaths on the news after being left and forgotten in cars and dying from heat exposure.

My personal favorite reminder is placing a large stuffed animal in my purse so when I grab it to leave, the obnoxiously large stuffed animal reminds me of my children in my car.

Thoughts to Consider

  • Have you checked your car for these safety concerns?
  • What safety tips would you add to this list?
  • Do you love advice about parenting and homemaking?

 

Related Posts from Mommy Engineering:  10 Car Seat Safety Quick Tips

Check out more from Katriza on Mommy Engineering!

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