What New Parents Need to Know About Car Safety

As a new parent, baby safety is your top priority -- and keeping your newborn safe in the car is most likely on your mind. Here’s what you need to know about safety on the road. 

Be car-seat safe. You know that having an infant car seat will protect your child in the event of a crash. But also make sure the seat has a sturdy harness system, is rear-facing, and has padding around the sides to support your baby. Also check that your car seat is installed safely. If you’re unsure, find a certified car seat inspector near you at SeatCheck.org. 

Buckle up, always. Speaking of car seats, your baby should always be in one when you’re in a vehicle. It might be more fun to hold him and buckle up together, but an infant (or a child) should never ride in your arms.

Babies in the back. You might be tempted to put your baby’s car seat up front so you can keep a closer eye on him while you’re driving, but don’t. The backseat is the safest and best for babies and children, who could easily get hurt by a deployed air bag if you were to get into an accident.

Watch the windows. To keep your baby’s fingers from ever getting pinched, always look before closing automatic windows. Keep them closed by turning on the child window locks.

Never talk or text while driving. A whopping 78 percent of moms admit to talking on their phones while driving (and 26 percent say they text or check email). You’ve heard it a million times, but here it is again: Never use your phone to talk or text while you drive -- it’s just not worth the risk.

Always bring your baby. It might be easier to leave your baby in the car while you pop into stores to run errands, but it’s definitely not safer. Children’s bodies heat up faster than adults’, and the temperature inside your car can jump 20°F in just 10 minutes! That puts your baby at risk for overheating, and even having a heatstroke.