Car safety in the hot Australian summer
The Australian summer is relentless and unforgiving. These days it’s not uncommon for the mercury to reach well into the 40’s over the summer months. And while, in an ideal world, we would all bunker down in the air conditioning or spend our days relaxing in the pool or by the beach, life doesn’t stop when the temperature rises.
Those long summer days can mean even longer spent in a hot car driving around to summer activities and gatherings. As parents, we need to be more vigilant than ever over the summer months about car safety.
At Mother’s Choice, we are dedicated to keeping our kids safe while they are travelling in the car, so we have put together our top summer car safety tips to help you while you battle the heat.
Don’t leave the kids in the car
If there is one car safety rule that you need to follow all year round, but especially so in the hot summer months, it is to not leave your kids in the car. If you aren’t in the car, they shouldn’t be either.
It is tempting to leave the kids in the car for a few minutes while you pop into the corner store to grab some milk… but it only takes 10 minutes for a car to hit 44 degrees on a 29 degree day. Another 10 minutes and the inside of that same car would reach 60 degrees.
Those numbers are truly frightening.
If you are going to grab some milk, take the kids with you. If you need petrol, try to fill up in advance when the kids aren’t with you so you don’t need to get them out of the car. If you get home and start talking to your neighbour, take the kids out of the car while you are talking. It’s not worth the risk.
It may also seem far fetched, but if your kids can easily get to your car, through a garage door or the like, be sure to keep the car locked and the keys well out of reach. Your child may be able to get into the car, but not open the door again once they are inside. It’s always best to be on the safe side.
Pop your bag on the backseat
Whenever you hear stories of parents who accidentally leave their baby in the backseat of the car, it seems almost impossible to think that you could ever forget your baby. It’s so easy to judge… but the reality is that it is a documented phenomenon and it can happen to any of us.
Rather than placing your bag on the seat next to you in the front of the car, get into the routine of putting your bag, phone or wallet in the backseat so you need to open the back door to get it out before you lock the car and walk away. It’s one way of ensuring you don’t forget the littlest passengers in the back of the car.
It may seem simple but it could be a lifesaver.
Opt for a car seat with wicking fabric
When you are buying a car seat for your child, go for one with wicking fabric. This fabric draws moisture away from their skin to keep them cooler in their car seat.
In the Mother’s Choice range we have a selection of car seats with wicking fabric to keep your child cool in the car all year round. The Adore AP Convertible Car Seat, Accord AP Convertible Car Seat, Kin AP Convertible Booster Seat, Prime AP Convertible Booster Seat, Zeal AP Booster Seat and Tribe AP Booster Seat all feature wicking fabric.
It’s the little things that can make a big difference to your child’s comfort and keeping them cool on a hot summer day.
Watch out for hot buckles
Metal buckles in car seats can heat up very quickly on a hot day… and they can hurt a lot when they touch your skin, even more so for kids!
Before you put your kids in the car, check the buckles to ensure they aren’t too hot and wait for them to cool down if they are.
Another option is to place a towel or light blanket over the buckles while you aren’t in the car to ensure they don’t get the direct heat of the sun. Just remember to move the towel or blanket out of the car seat before you put your child in.
Keep an eye on the back seat
The back seat of the car tends to take longer than the front seat to cool down because in most cars the air conditioning vents are positioned only at the front of the car. While you are driving, particularly on hot summer days, it’s important to keep an eye on the backseat and your smallest passengers.
Keep water on hand so you can all stay hydrated. A booster seat like the Spark Convertible Booster Seat includes swing-out cup holders so your child can keep their water bottle within arms reach.
If you have a younger baby in a rearward-facing car seat, a Baby View Mirror will help keep them in your sights.
Remember to apply sunscreen
It may seem odd, but while you are in the car you are exposed to the sun’s rays… and you and your kids should apply sunscreen to protect your skin. Apply sunscreen before you leave the house and then reapply throughout the day if you are out for long periods of time.
A safer ride
At Mother’s Choice, we are proud of the fact that we have been providing parents with affordable and reliable products for their children for more than 45 years. Our car seats go on countless adventures, safely carrying children all over the country, all year round. Whether it is a summer adventure to the beach or a rainy day outing, we are here to help you enjoy the ride.