(BPT) – Babies change everything. Their arrival means that new parents need to become educated – quickly – on cribs, strollers and most importantly, child-safety seats and all their rules. And as federal recommendations on car seats continue to evolve, parents have one more thing to stay on top of.
The family car safety experts at Cars.com, in partnership with Toluna QuickSurveys, recently conducted a poll that asked parents what they worried about most when bringing a newborn home from the hospital. Results revealed that 93 percent of new parents listed the fear of other drivers on the road as a top concern when driving with a newborn.
“Every new parent wants to cover the car in protective bubble wrap when driving with their baby. I know my husband and I did,” says Cars.com editor and expert mom Jennifer Newman. “That isn’t realistic, but there are a few things you can take control of that will help ease your anxiety when driving with your newborn.”
Instead of bubble wrap, Newman suggests:
* Car seat check: Make sure a certified child passenger safety technician inspects your car seat installation before the baby arrives.
* Practice safe driving: It’s going to be tough, especially if your newborn starts wailing, but remember to keep your eyes on the road. If you can’t stop yourself from turning around to check on the baby, pull over and then make sure everything is OK with your wee one.
* Keep the baby in the car seat: If one parent rides in the backseat with the baby, remember that it is never OK to remove the child from a car seat while someone is driving. The safest place for a baby – even one that’s screaming – is in a rear-facing car seat when the car is moving.
* Keep your car properly maintained: Take your car in for regular, scheduled maintenance to ensure everything is in working order and all fluids are topped. Keeping a safe car can create a safer ride for your little one.
These steps allow parents to focus on the road and should lessen some of their concerns about their child’s safety in the car. In addition, Newman also suggests parents skip using items such as a baby mirror in the car. Mirrors and other items like toys that hang from a car seat’s handle can become dangerous projectiles in a crash and harm your child or you.
For more information, visit Cars.com to learn more tips on child driving safety.