This is Insure My Cars guide on driving with children and the precautions you must take while driving and best driving practices to keep them and yourself safe while on the road and in your car.

Guide to Driving with Children

Make sure your children wear a seatbelt

According to the Road Safety Authority, 262 children lost their lives on our roads between 1996 and 2012. It is important that you make sure your children wear a seatbelt and ensure it is closed properly and fitted well.  The seat belt prevents people from being ejected from the car in case of an accident. It will keep your children safe during a car accident. It provides some protection to the body and reduces the risk of getting killed or injured during a collision. The seat belt will also help prevent injuries caused by any accidents on the road.

Don’t put children on your lap while driving, use a booster seat.

The law in Ireland is that children must be in a booster seat or car seat until they are 13 years old. This means that children can no longer sit on their parent’s lap while the car is moving. Children who are under the age of 13 cannot travel in the front passenger seat unless an approved child restraint is used for them.

There are many reasons why this law was passed, one of them being safety. A child’s brain and body are still developing which means they need to be strapped into a booster seat or car seat because their bones aren’t as strong as adults. This keeps them safe if there was to be an accident and it can prevent spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and organ damage.

Do not leave children unattended in a car

An average of four children die every year in Ireland because they were left unattended in a car. Children can become sick of heatstroke, dehydration, or even gain control of the vehicle when unattended which can cause the child harm and others.

Driving with Babies and Infants

Why Is Driving with an Infant so Dangerous?

Driving while having a baby in the backseat is one of the most dangerous things you can do while driving.

It is very important to be aware of your surroundings and your baby’s surroundings while driving. You should never take your eyes off the road and any other drivers on the road can be a distraction.

You should always drive slowly, avoid driving at night, never drink alcohol or drugs when driving or when you are near children, keep an emergency kit in the car with blankets, baby bottles, food, water, etc., only drive when you are feeling well-rested and clear-headed, always use a car seat that fits your child’s age and weight limitation per manufacturer specifications, buckle up all occupants in their seats.

How to Keep Baby Safe in the Carseat

As a parent, you want to make sure that your baby is safe in the car seat. You cannot always be looking at them to make sure they are safe because this could cause an accident. That is why it’s important to follow the safety tips below.

-Use a rear-facing car seat until your child reaches 2 years of age or until they have reached the maximum weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer.

-Buckle the chest clip at armpit level instead of chest level when installing a forward-facing car seat for a smaller child or toddler.

-Keep your baby in the backseat, even if you have an airbag in front unless they are at least 13 pounds and one year old or older and do not exceed the highest weight limit for their convertible or booster seat manufacturer’s guidelines

Driving with Baby for Holidays or Long Journeys

Driving  on a long-distance trip can be challenging. However, there are many things that you can do to make the journey smoother. It is important to plan your trip out before you start your journey. For example, planning for petrol stations to make nappy changes. It is important to pack items like clothes, food, bottles, soothers, and toys for your baby. Buying small containers for your boot to transport these things easily and be more organized.

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