13+ Ways to Childproof Your Vehicle

Last Updated: March 16, 2021 |
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Many parents are careful to thoroughly babyproof homes when bringing home a baby, but typically, families will find a great car seat and consider child vehicle safety done. Unfortunately, the reality is that mundane tasks like driving to school, daycare, or even just running errands could be the most dangerous thing you do every day with your children.

Each year, an average of 37 children die from vehicular heat strokes. Worse, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children younger than 13. They cause one of every four unintentional injury deaths. And worse than that: many of these deaths are preventable, as 38 percent of the children who died in a crash in 2013 were not even buckled up.

Statistics like these can be jarring and may leave parents feeling helpless. But the fact is that there are many steps parents and caregivers can take to childproof or babyproof a car. Follow these tips to make your vehicle safer for children and reduce their risk of injury or death in your vehicle.

Find and Use the Right Car Seat for Your Child

Car seats save lives, especially when they are used properly. In fact, they can reduce the risk of death for children in motor vehicles by as much as 71 percent. But that’s assuming perfect use, and unfortunately, that is rarely the case, as up to 95% of parents make at least one error in car seat use after leaving the hospital with their baby.

Car seats should be used at all times. It is particularly important that parents use the correct car seat for each child’s height, weight, and age. It’s best to use rear-facing and five-point harnessed car seats for as long as possible until children outgrow their seat and would be safer in the next size up.

There are many considerations to keep in mind for proper car seat usage. Visit our Ultimate Car Seat Safety Guide to learn everything you need to know about choosing, installing, and using your car seat properly.

Safe Driving Habits for Parents

Parents should be careful to drive safely any time, but especially when children are in their vehicle. It’s important to practice safe driving techniques, follow the rules of the road, and avoid distractions.

Smart Vehicle Safety Tips Parents Can Use

There’s car safety for children beyond safe driving and car seat use. Child locks, never leaving children unattended, and securing all items in your vehicle are just a few of the ways you can make your vehicle safer for kids.

While ultimately, driving with your children is riskier than, say, staying at home in a protective bubble, your vehicle doesn’t have to be a dangerous place for children. Take these steps to improve the safety of your vehicle and reduce your child’s risk of injury or death due to a car accident or other incident on the road.