So the special day comes and you become a parent. And that’s the exact moment you realize how clueless you really are. Child cries in the middle of the night and you just try everything hoping something will work and the child will go to sleep. You don’t know if the poor thing has a tummy upset or is hungry. Or maybe itchy. Or just plain sleepy. And it doesn’t get better as they turn one and then enter the ‘terrible twos’. Good luck is all we can say. But we can help you in one aspect of life with the baby. Here’s a check-list for you on what to do when driving with a baby.
- Minimize air purifier use:- Most people do not realize that given the extreme temperature fluctuations in our country there are harmful chemical reactions that happen with air purifiers. These may not be visibly affecting adults but babies are known to develop allergic reactions. Our sense is that you can keep an air purifier going for a while but try not to have it on when the sun is out.
- Get a good quality baby seat:- This is absolutely essential. In India especially we just take the child in our arms and worse sit on the front seat. Of course the parent is buckled but what happens in an impact is that the baby can fly out of your hands and hit the windshield or the dashboard. And, this believes us, can happen even in low impact accidents. So a good quality baby seat, secured with the seat belt on the backseat is not just the right thing to do by law, it is the most essential thing to do for the life of your child.
- Auto lock and child locks keep both the auto lock and child lock on at all times when your little one is on board. Children are notorious for playing with window controls and door handles. Better be 100% safe with that. In fact do not open the doors till you have an adult on the side of the back seat door when you want to get the baby from inside the car.
- Keep the deck on minimal Babies have very sensitive hearing. So keep the volume of your deck on low, else it will irritate the child.
- Don’t keep the air-conditioning on for long periods Air-conditioning tends to make the air stale after a while. This breeds germs and may harm the baby. Keep the air-conditioning on low to begin with and then not for very long periods. If possible keep the windows open for a while in-between drives. Of course in India pollution is an issue but there are enough open patches of the road to let fresh air in.
- Don’t fill petrol when baby is on board Petrol fumes cause nausea for little children and babies. A petrol pump, even when the doors and windows are locked, does have enough of the smell lingering around to affect children. Try getting your tank full before you pick up the baby for the drive.
- And above all, for heaven’s sake, don’t leave the baby in the car alone. Toddler deaths, when left behind in cars, are far more common than we think. They are known to suffocate when the windows are closed and also harmful carbon monoxide fumes have been known to seep inside stationery cars especially if the the air-conditioning is on. Please take your baby with you when you leave the car. Babies just love drives don’t they? Ten minutes into a drive and they are fast asleep. Let’s make that the best time possible every time and follow these pointers as far as possible you think we have missed out any point? Do add to this list using the comments section below.