Summer is here and for many that means family vacation time! If you are traveling with small children you most likely have a car seat, or 2, along with you. We have partnered with our friends at Britax to ensure you have safe and fun family travels this summer. Sarah Tilton, Britax Director of Consumer Advocacy and CPS Technician and Instructor shares with us important safety tips whether you are traveling by car or plane!
Focus on safe seating
Before everyone jumps into the car, make sure all the little passengers have quality, comfortable car seats.
If you need to purchase a new car seat, be sure that it properly fits the child, fits the vehicle and is easy to use. Not sure what car seat is the best fit? Use Britax’s easy to use guide to help you make a safe purchase for your family. After you have a safe car seat and approved accessories, shop just as carefully for your in-route entertainment items. Some accessories may not have not been tested or certified as safe to be used with your car seat, and could increase your child’s risk in the event of a crash.
Test the Installation
Once you have the seat, carefully follow the provided user guide for installation instructions. When finished, your seat should not move more than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back. Britax’s ClickTight technology is 3-step self-tensioning system that makes it easier to achieve a secure installation.
Seek a second opinion
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of all car seats are not installed properly. Have a certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician check your child’s seat, or attend a free car seat safety check in your area. Check http://www.safekids.org for event listings or schedule a virtual car seat check at Britax. All car seat brands are welcome.
Bring activities to keep your child occupied during trips. Opt for soft toys and books for in-car entertainment. Playing children’s music on the radio is also a wonderful, soothing entertainment option that poses no physical risk in an accident.
Occupy rear-facing kids
Parents are often concerned about stimulating children in rear-facing seats and end up hanging mirrors or toys to entertain them. These accessories are a special concern for rear-facing seats because the seats are designed to rebound. During rotation, children may come into contact with mirrors or accessories hanging on the back seat and could be injured. Consider placing a brand-approved mirror in the adjacent seat to the rear facing infant seat.
Timing is everything
Plan your car trip around your child’s schedule. Drive when he or she is happiest and well-fed. Or, for children who sleep well in the car, choose to drive during his or her naptime to make the trip easier.
For especially long trips, take frequent breaks and remove your child from the car seat every couple of hours. The movement will keep children from getting too restless and give older children something to look forward to.
Whenever possible, plan to have two adults in the car for longer trips. This will allow one adult to drive and one to entertain the kids. The tag-team approach will keep the driver’s focus safely on the road instead of on the fussy child in the backseat.
Allow other adult passengers to manage the GPS and stereo so you can concentrate on driving. Leave your cell phone in your bag or pocket, or employ the use of hands-free devices. Safest option is to pull over to make calls. Always remember, you’re traveling with precious cargo!
Flying the friendly skies
If you’re traveling by plane, it is recommend you take your car seats for a few reasons:
- The safest place for a child under 40 pounds is in a car seat or booster seat, not a lap.
- If you’re renting a car once you reach your destination, you will feel more at ease knowing your child is properly fitted and safe in his or her own car seat.
- Companies like Britax make travel carts and travel bags to make car seat transportation easy.
- If you are unsure if your car seat is FAA-approved, look for a label on the side of the seat that states, “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” or, “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”
Learn More About Britax ClickTight Car Seats
The Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One car seat takes your child from birth to big kid with Britax Safety and ClickTight Installation. It converts from a rear-facing infant seat, to a forward-facing 5-point harness, to a high-back belt-positioning booster. SafeWash cover is safe to machine wash and dry. ClickTight is as easy as buckling a seat belt, so you can install with confidence, every time. A high strength steel frame, crumple zone, and V-shaped tether help absorb crash energy. And, 2 layers of side impact protection surround your child’s head, neck and torso.
As your child grows from baby to toddler, the Advocate® ClickTight® convertible car seat easily transition from rear-facing to forward-facing. Features ClickTight technology for struggle-free installation and a SafeWash® cover with no added flame-retardant chemicals. Designed with tonal color palettes & ribbed textures that kids and parents will love.
Wherever you’re heading this travel season, we hope you have a relaxing, enjoyable and safe trip!