For your child's sake and your own peace of mind, make sure your car safety smarts are up to par. These tips will help:
- Before you ever put your vehicle in gear, check to see exactly where your child is. That way there's no chance of accidentally hitting her. Until checking becomes a reflex, put a small picture of your toddler on the visor or on your key ring to help you remember.
- Always look before closing automatic windows, and always use your car's automatic door and window locks to keep your toddler safe inside. The locks ensure that she can't toss things out the window or get her hands caught. (In older cars, use the manual locks and position the car seat away from windows and doors.)
- Always use a federally approved, age- and size-appropriate car seat (consult our car seat shopping guide). Your toddler should always ride in the back seat, especially if you have air bags.
- Make your car a no-smoking zone.
- Never leave your toddler alone in the car, not even for a minute.
- Be sure your toddler isn't in direct sunlight while she's in the car. Move her to the center of the back seat and use a window screen if necessary.
Read more about child safety.