We usually do all our Christmas shopping in the month of December and we tend to visit shopping centers or stores in the city itself. We often get there by car and take our children with us, which is why we are going to go over the main safety tips to keep in mind when traveling by car this Christmas.
Adjust the child car seat
The first thing to do is check that we have the right seat for our child's size and that it is correctly installed on the appropriate car seat. Children should be traveling in a suitable CRS on the car's rear seats, except in certain exceptional circumstances (you will find comprehensive information on this in this article). The child car seat should be properly anchored to the seat, either by using the seat belt or with ISOFIX anchorages.
A properly adjusted harness
The harness (and the seat belt if needed) should be properly adjusted to the child's body. A properly fitting harness is far more effective in a collision than a loose harness or seat belt. We explain why harnesses and seat belts should be properly adjusted to the child's body in this article.
We are dedicating an entire section to emphasizing that coats should not be worn in the car. There are two main reasons for this: the first is that it is impossible to properly adjust the child car seat belt or harness when they are wearing a coat; the second reason has to with the temperature in the car and the passenger's comfort. These two reasons are both very important although the first is the most crucial.
The temperature in the car
Having the right temperature in the car is very important for a number of reasons. Children are sensitive to high and low temperatures and we should therefore keep the car at a comfortable temperature that is not too hot. If we turn the heater up too high it will become suffocating inside the vehicle and the temperature difference compared to outside the car will be too great.
On the other hand, if the temperature is too low the children will get cold. The best temperature is one where we can all travel in the car without the need for a coat.
Items and bags in the trunk
We should never have loose items inside the car: games, water bottles, shopping bags, etc. Everything should be properly stowed away in the appropriate place (in storage areas or properly stored in the trunk). Any loose objects can pose a danger to passengers in a collision. In this infographic we demonstrate just how dangerous loose items can become in a vehicle.
Don't rush things
Our last piece of advice is perhaps the most important of all. We need to leave all our hurrying and stress at home and take our time in order to follow all the advice we have been given. When we leave the house in a hurry we are far more likely to make mistakes. When it comes to safety, we simply cannot risk making mistakes.