When the terrible twos strike you might wonder what happened to the cherubic, gurgling infant you had only months ago. Suddenly your tots are walking, talking, and shouting “NO!” at the top of their lungs and taking them out in public is like tempting a gauntlet of disapproving stares as they suffer yet another meltdown. And yet, despite the fact that your beautiful baby has turned into little monster, you know that this too shall pass, and soon enough you’ll have a child with a fully formed vocabulary and a sense of reason. Until then, you need to make sure that your growing bundle of joy stays safe on every outing, and this starts with car safety. Here are just a few rules for the car that every parent should adopt while their kids are in the toddler stage.
- Follow booster seat laws. Every state has different laws when it comes to booster seats, so for legal purposes you need to be aware of the rules in your state of residence (and possibly for any state you happen to be driving through with young children). Your kids may be required to have car seats or booster seats based on either their ages or weights (or both), but you might want to abide by the strictest laws in the nation to ensure maximum safety for your child.
- Seat toddlers in the back. Even if your kids are large enough that they no longer require a safety seat of some sort, you might want to continue seating them in the back of the car for a couple of reasons. If your car is old enough that it only has lap belts, you may be required by law to seat small children in the back (since a sudden stop could propel them into the dash). And you should know that there is a danger of damage from in-dash airbags in the front seat, which are optimized for adults, not children.
- Don’t take food in the car. You might think that feeding your kids on the go is a great idea when you’re in a rush, especially since it will keep them occupied during a long drive. But in the time it could take you to realize that a child is choking, pull the car over, and begin administering the Heimlich maneuver or CPR, serious damage could be done. And while this scenario may be a rarity, it only has to happen once to make you wish you had considered the possibility sooner and banned eating in the car. At the very least, this policy will help to keep your car clean, but it could also save the life of a young child.
- NEVER leave kids unattended in a car. Many a parent has made a mad dash into a store for some milk or eggs and left toddlers in the car rather than go through the hassle of taking them along. But this is a big no-no for a number of reasons. First and foremost: it’s illegal! If you get caught pulling this stunt you could be arrested and have your children taken away. Is the five minutes you saved worth that? Of course not. But even more importantly, it’s dangerous. For one thing, it’s a bad idea to leave your kids unattended anywhere. And leaving them in a car, even in “good” weather, could result in serious consequences for your kids as well as yourself.
- Carry full coverage insurance. If you happen to be involved in an automobile accident (through your own fault or the fault of another) you might find yourself responsible for your child’s medical bills. And whether you pay beaucoup bucks for a name brand policy or you go with Cheapcarinsurance.net, purchasing a full-coverage policy will help to ensure that you don’t find yourself wondering how you’re going to pay for medical bills to save your child’s life.