Labor Day Weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year and keeping your children safe during your trip is essential. This year the National Safety Council estimates 471 traffic fatalities will occur during Labor Day Weekend. These startling findings show it is more important than ever to have the right resources to keep your child safe, and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is here to help.
With Labor Day falling at the start of Baby Safety Month, it is the perfect time for parents to take stock of the best travel safety tips for your child in your car, on a plane, in a hotel and in a friend’s house to keep your child safe this holiday weekend. At AWHONN, we want to offer advice on five safe baby travel tips. These tips from Healthy Mom&Baby include:
- Baby should always be restrained in a car seat every time they’re in the car, whether it’s your car, your caregiver’s car or a taxi. It’s safest for baby to ride rear-facing until age 2, when they’ll likely outgrow their infant car seat. Baby never rides in a front passenger seat unless you only have a single cab truck; ensure the airbag is disarmed if baby must ride up front.
- Baby proof your car and get baby’s car seat installation checked at a fire or police station; they’re hard to install correctly! And never forget you have baby in the vehicle, especially on warm or hot days. Put a critical item—your purse, cell phone, briefcase or even the shoe from your non-driving foot – next to your baby in the backseat each time baby is in the car with you and you’ll never forget baby each time you leave the car.
- Make sure baby doesn’t sleep in their infant car seat after the drive is over. You may be tempted to carry a sleeping baby in their infant car seat into the house to let a nap continue, but don’t do this. Although an infant car seat may be designed with a bottom that allows it to rock, it’s typically not a safe place to sleep when it’s not properly installed in the car. Baby’s head can fall forward and allow their chin to rest on their neck, which may restrict baby’s airflow.
- Never leave your infant or toddler in the car alone. In many states, you can be arrested for this.
- Lock the doors when pumping gas but don’t lock your keys in the car. Crack a window for air when children are inside and so you can reach in for your keys if you forget them.
By incorporating these five tips into your life, you can help ensure the safety of your baby during your Labor Day Weekend getaway. For more information on baby safety on the road and at home, go to health4mom.org.