This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SOLOLifeSensor #CollectiveBias

Baby safety month + carseat safety

Driving with kids: it can be fun, loud, crazy, and sometimes miserable. Balancing everyone’s needs in the car while actually driving a car can be quite a feat. On top of the responsibility to keep your kids safe while on the road are the day to day demands of caregiving that can leave you hurried and distracted in your normal routine. While you may not have control over other drivers, you can make sure that children are properly protected in your own car. Here are some things I do or use to keep my kids safe while we’re driving in the car. 

Tips for safe driving with kids

Eliminate the temptation to look at your phone.

Texting while driving (or even talking on the phone) is extremely dangerous, but many of us are tempted to glance at our phones “for a quick second” to check our directions or see who sent a text. But even a quick second can lead to tragedy. Most cars are now equipped with CarPlay or other navigation assistance so you can listen to your directions without looking at your phone. And there is a setting in most smart phones (for iPhones it is found under the Do Not Disturb settings) where you can hold message alerts until you are no longer driving and create an auto-response for any messages you receive while driving. I have mine set to “Activate with CarPlay” so that I always use that for both my directions and to hold my texts until we’ve safely arrived at our destination. Then I’m not tempted to glance at my phone while driving.

Tips for safe driving with kids

No text message, phone call, or email is ever worth risking your kids’ safety, or the safety of others on the road. These tricks help get you out of the habit of quick glances and minimize distracted driving.

Create a reminder system that you have kids with you in the car.

Every year children die from heatstroke after being left alone in a vehicle. Oftentimes the driver, due to distraction, exhaustion or running on autopilot, simply forgets they have a child in the backseat. One way to ensure you don’t inadvertently leave a child alone in the car is to place your purse or other essential item in the backseat or back floorboard, but there are several other ways to set a reminder for yourself so you don’t forget until technology becomes available to eliminate this problem.

VOXX Automotive has partnered with “SaveOurLovedOnes” to create the “Save our Loved Ones”- Life Sensor Technology, with the intent to end mortality rates of children after being left in hot cars. The technology is designed to be integrated into your vehicle with a device that detects “presence of life’ or can say “movement/child breathing” within seconds of the driver leaving the vehicle. It is extremely sensitive and can detect breathing as movement, which helps for when little ones are asleep in the backseat. The device can be mounted inside other technology or the interior of the car and is not a camera so it is non-invasive. It can see through material to detect movement, so it would not be deterred by clothing or blankets. If it detects life (either an infant/child or pet) in the car, horn and lights will send SOS and windows will roll down. It can also send text messages in case you’ve already stepped away from your vehicle.

Tips for safe driving with kids

Tips for safe driving with kids

The device is not yet available for purchase, but the hope is that legislation would mandate detection technology systems in all newly manufactured vehicles that detect people and pets in the car and set off alerts only when they’re needed. The Hot Cars Act of 2019 (H.R. 3593) is bi-partisan legislation that would do just that, and you can find more about it as well as a form letter to send to your representatives in support of the bill here.

Make sure children are using the proper car seats and that they are correctly installed, as well as staying in them for the recommended amount of time.

This one may seem obvious but the numbers are shocking regarding the number of people who do not do this. The majority of injuries that children sustain in cars is due to improperly installed car seats and the remainder is due to moving a child up to the next seat too soon. Keep your infants rear facing, keep your young child in a 5 point harness as long as possible, and don’t let your older child abandon their booster (or seat in the back) too early. Here’s how you can avoid those costly errors:

  1. Have your car seats checked by law enforcement or at a car safety event to ensure they are properly installed.
  2. Read up on the current laws for your state as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics Car Seat Guidelines for which seat your child should be in and for how long. Currently it is recommended that:
    • Children should remain rear-facing until age 2 or until they have reached the weight and height limits of their car seat.
    • Children should remain in a forward-facing 5-point harness seat as long as possible and until they reach the weight and height limits of their car seat.
    • Kids can next move to a belt-positioning booster seat when they reach the weight and height harness strap limits of their forward-facing car seat.
    • The move to regular seat belts should not occur until kids are “old enough and large enough” for the seat belts to protect them properly, which usually isn’t until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall (57 inches) and are between 8 and 12 years old.
    • All kids under 13 years of age should sit in the back seat, using an age-appropriate restraint.

Tips for safe driving with kids

While our kids may often cry and beg to face forward, or move to a booster, or to sit in the front seat following safety guidelines can prevent serious injuries that could be avoided if they were left in the proper seat for their age and weight. It’s just not worth it to move them too soon.

Do you have any major car safety tips when driving with kids? Share them below! And don’t forget to go read more about the Hot Cars Act and send a letter to your representative if you are in support of the lifesaving bill.

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SOLOLifeSensor #CollectiveBias

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