Congrats to our winner Julie!
While another year has passed, it’s important to check on what’s most important in 2016: your precious back seat cargo especially if you are planning to take a road trip in the near future! If you haven’t taken a once over to make sure no hazardous items are laying around your car, or that your car seat is as snug as can be, it’s a good time to do that. And while I'm not the type of a woman who gets a rush when traveling necessitates getting on a plane and attempting to cram the contents of my life into a suitcase and small carry-on- I am ALL about road tripping with my brood!
So the real question is how can you keep the kids safe and entertained? Keep reading for some tips for family car travel for the holidays thanks to Safety 1st and how you can win the Safety 1st Grow and Go Air car seat which features Dorel Juvenile patented Air Protect® technology, provides advanced safety systems for truly superior side impact crash protection. The successor of the widely popular Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Grow and Go Air provides the same features with a new layer of safety – Air Protect®.
Here are a few helpful tips from Ryan Hawker, Safety 1st Child Passenger Safety Technician and Car Seat Safety Expert to make sure your kids are as safe as can be in the back seat.
Don’t Turn Them Around
Keep your child rear facing as long as possible! According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention, children under the age of two are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. Furthermore, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that children remain rear facing as long as allowed by your car seat’s height, weight and other criteria.
If you have an older child, boosters are extremely important. Most states require a child to be in a booster until 8 years old, as they have been proven to reduce the risk of serious injury by 45%, according to Safe Kids.
Car Seat Installation 1o1
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly. Are you one of those parents? If you are not sure, check! Remember, every car and car seat has different requirements for safe installation, so it’s important to read both the car seat and car manual. When installing, use either the LATCH or the seat belt. Do not use both! The seat belt is a very effective way to install a car seat but LATCH was developed to provide another option for parents that find it challenging to properly install a child restraint with the seat belt. Once you have the car seat installed make sure it does not move more than one-inch side to side. If you are still unsure if you’ve done it right, check in with a local Child Passenger Safety Technician before you hit the road.
You can visit a local police station, fire station, AAA office or Safe Kids Chapter for guidance. Or simply go to seatcheck.org or http://www.safekids.org/events/field_type/check-event.
Securing Your Child
This may seem like a no-brainer. However, during the winter months, securing your child can be a little trickier. Often, parents strap their children in with their bulky winter coats still on. However, a new crash test that aired on the Today Show demonstrated how a secure dummy (meant to represent a small child) went hurtling out of a car seat because the winter jacket obstructed it from being fastened securely.
It’s recommended that you remove the child’s jacket before securing him or her. If you’re worried about the child being too cold, turn up the heat and, once buckled, put a blanket over the car seat. It may seem like a hassle, but it’s an extra step that can save a life.
Car Seats do Expire
It’s something you rarely think about, but car seats expire! You can find the expiration date on the back or the side of the car seat. Additionally, if a car seat has been in a crash you should not use it. Plastic can warp, materials can fray and the car seat will not protect a child correctly. This also means that you should avoid used car seats. The history of a car seat tells a lot about its ability to protect on the road ahead. If you don’t know where it has been, you don’t know if it can protect your child.
To recycle a car seat, check with your local waste management facility to see if they recycle number 5 plastic.
Lead by Example
Children don’t always do what they’re told but they often mimic what they observe. According to Safe Ride 4 Kids, almost 40% of children riding in vehicles with unbelted drivers were not wearing belt restraints at the time of an accident. Set a good example and always use your seatbelt.
Also never text while driving! Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded (Distraction.gov)! Always put your purse, wallet and/or phone on the floor in front of your baby. Not only will it prevent you from using it while in the vehicle with your child, but you’ll never forget to leave the baby in the car.
And once you have your kids SAFELY tucked into their car seats here are some tips to make your trip more fun!
#1 Before the trip, make a CD or playlist of your kids favorite songs, mixed with your favorite songs from when you were growing up.
#2 Prepare for the dreaded phrase, I'm bored. Fill a box with anything that could be used on a car trip to stir up fun.
#3 Map it! Print out a good old-fashioned road map and a handful of colored pencils or markers to track the journey.
#4 Provide a camera so the kids can capture the most amazing things they see on the trip to Grandma's with prizes (funniest, best animal shot, etc.).
#5 If you'll be visiting people who don't have children, they may not have kid-friendly snacks. Pack snack bags filled with trail mix, cut up fruit or cereal and some string cheese.
#6 Even though everyone just wants to get there long car trips can be tiring. Plan a few fun stops along the way to a park, scenic lookout or funky landmark.
#7 On the ride home, have everyone share their three favorite things about the holiday trip.
And now for the Safety 1st Grow and Go Air GIVEAWAY!!! Some of its Key Features include:
• Offers extended use through three stages (Rear-facing from 5 to 40 pounds, Forward-facing from 22 to 65 pounds, and Belt-positioning booster from 40 to 100 pounds)
• Superior safety with Air Protect®, an advanced cushion system that provides extra protection
• A snap to clean! Machine washable and dryer safe seat pad, unsnaps and lifts away quickly from the seat frame for truly easy cleaning
• QuickFit™ Harness for easy adjustment of both harness and headrest in one simple step
• 3-position recline for a good fit in any car
• In and Out Harness Holders keep straps out of the way when buckling
• Easy belt access panels built into the seat for easy installation
• Grow-with-baby pillows for a comfortable ride
• A compact install, allowing up to 7” more legroom for adult, front seat passengers.
• Two integrated cup holders
• The Sport Edition includes all the same features but offers one removable, dishwasher-safe cup holder Get yours HERE-> And because I love my readers I am giving away a Safety 1st Grow and Go Air! For a chance to win you must Follow The Staten Island Family on Facebook and leave a comment that you did so. For another chance to win you must FOLLOW @TheSIFamily on Twitter, TWEET this giveaway and leave a comment here that you did so. For another entry you can subscribe to our YOU TUBE CHANNEL and leave a comment here that you did so. For another entry you can Follow MelissaSChapman on Instagram and leave a comment here that you did so! For Another entry you can follow MelissaSChapman on Pinterest . And for another Entry you can subscribe to our newsletter and leave a comment here that you did so! GOOD LUCK giveaway ends March 4th 2016!