Fair   34.0F  |  Forecast »

Safe Travel in Winter

Many families have plans to pack their bags and hit the road this winter. But the slick Michigan highway conditions aren't the only thing your family should prepare for.

As a pediatrician, certified child passenger safety (CPS) technician, pediatrician, mother of three and co-author of Heading Home with Your Newborn, Dr. Laura A. Jana recommends the following tips to help families safely enjoy their winter travels.

1. Choose the right car seat. Keep your toddler rear-facing and in a five-point harness for as long as possible – until the child no longer fits within the weight and height limits of the seat. Make sure you have a car seat that fits both your car and your child properly. Test the seat in your car before purchasing it.

I also recommend investing in a car seat that offers side-impact protection. Look for features such as an adjustable head support, and deep side and head wings made out of energy-absorbent material to minimize lateral head movement in a crash. To see examples of seats with side impact crash protection features, visit child passenger safety pioneer Britax USA.

2. Get a safety check. It is estimated that at least 80 percent of all car seats are installed and used incorrectly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's site offers a list of child safety seat inspection stations by ZIP code. Also, be sure to have a certified CPS technician check your child's seat.

3. Don't over-bundle. Although it's important to dress your child in warm clothes during the winter, thick winter coats or snowsuits can significantly loosen the car seat's straps and compromise your child's safety. In order for a car seat or booster seat to function properly, the straps need to remain tight against a child's chest. When placing your child into the car seat, remove coats or snowsuits and put a blanket on top of the baby after he is already in the car seat as needed, for extra warmth.

4. Pack a medicine bag. Remember to pack fever reducers (such as Tylenol and/or Motrin), a thermometer and any medications your little one is currently taking. Also, pack practical items such as cotton balls, cotton swabs and the shampoo/wash you typically use, so you don't have to rely on the availability of hotel freebies.

5. Fly safely. For airplane travel, I advise parents to buy a seat for a child under 2 years old – even though it's not always required – and secure him in an FAA-approved car seat to keep him safe not only during takeoff and landing, but also in the event of any in-flight turbulence. For infants, travel systems come especially in handy as they can make taking a car seat through the terminal much easier, not to mention offering plenty of extra storage space. You can then simply gate-check the stroller as you board the plane.

By planning ahead and taking a few extra steps, you'll be able to sit back and enjoy the ride!

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Upping the Prom Stakes: Teen Promposals Sweep High Schools

Upping the Prom Stakes: Teen Promposals Sweep High Schools

Prom? Kids are amping up the pitch with crazy creative presentations that rival wedding proposals – and, of course, posting the pix on social media.

Depression Risk is High for Young, First-Time Fathers

Depression Risk is High for Young, First-Time Fathers

It's common to hear talk about postpartum depression for moms. But, according to a new study, dads are feeling down, too, and suffering from paternal postpartum – or postnatal – depression.

Easter Treats Ideas – Recipes for the Kids

Easter Treats Ideas – Recipes for the Kids

Cupcakes, brownies, cake pops! These creative concoctions aren't just tasty – they're cute, too! Add some fun to your Easter celebrations with these sweets.

Make It Review: Rolli Stamps and Project Idea

Make It Review: Rolli Stamps and Project Idea

This cool new inked stamper product by Funnybone Muse is sure to be a family craft staple. Here's what it's about, and how to use it to jazz up a note card.

Craft Roundup: Muppets Most Wanted Inspired DIY Fun

Craft Roundup: Muppets Most Wanted Inspired DIY Fun

These cool DIY projects are a blast for kids and families to make, all celebrating Disney's latest movie spin on the classic Muppet gang.

Tax Tips for Parents: Deductions and Credits to Know About

Tax Tips for Parents: Deductions and Credits to Know About

April 15 is the IRS tax filing deadline, aka Tax Day. Whether you've got a baby or a college kid, here's how to get the most out of your income tax returns.

9 Month Bump Maternity Apparel Boutique in Trenton

9 Month Bump Maternity Apparel Boutique in Trenton

This downriver area consignment store is stocked with lots of trendy gently used options for new and expecting moms, plus handmade baby gifts and more.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement