A colleague told me about how her daughter once opened the car door while it was in motion. But luckily, they were still in their compound and the car was driving below 5 kph so nothing bad happened.
However, her experience could have happened to any parent with a child in the car as long as they do not put certain aspects into consideration.
The Kampala Metropolitan Traffic commander, Norman Musinga, gives guidelines that you could use to ensure your child is safe while in the car.
Wear seat belt
“First and foremost, ensure that the child has his or her seat belt strapped on if they are not in a baby car seat. Keep the seat belt on at all times.” he says.
Buy a child car seat
When driving and have a child below one year in the car, it is necessary that either someone is carrying them or they are buckled up in baby car seat. This is one of the car accessories that some people consider a luxury but it keeps the baby safe. In case of any crash, the baby is likely to come out with no injuries especially if they are seated at the back.
No leaning in the car
Musinga explains that it’s important to keep your child in their seat at all times and not allow them to lean over the dash-board or even stand while you are driving.
“This is probably the most dangerous one. Many times, parents let their children stand or even lean over the dash-board while they drive, but this is dangerous because in case you brake instantly, the child might be thrown either out through the windscreen or at the front if they were standing at the back,” he adds.
Keep windows closed
Your windows should be closed if you do not mind switching on your air-conditioning system with the child in the car. But preferably, “you should open them slightly to allow in fresh air and make sure that you lock them with the central lock located on the driver’s door to ensure the child or children near the door do not put them any lower,” Caroline Namirembe a mother of two explains.
She adds that keeping windows open could put your child’s life at risk, especially if they are three years and below. “They could be tempted to either put their head or hand out and that may not end well.”
Initiate the child lock
Musinga explains that it is also important to initiate the child lock in the car, as soon as you have the children seated in the car.
“You could be absent minded and forget to initiate the lock, so it would be wise to have it automated so that it locks as soon as the car doors are shut,” he adds.
Seat them in the back
Doreen Sandra Kauma, a mother of five, explains that it is much safer to have the children seated at the back for their own safety and your own because when they are at the front they keep on distracting you.
Placing the baby seat
If the child is below one year, it is important that the baby car seat is made to face the back.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor