More parents are traveling with ever-younger children in tow these days. When it comes to travel safety, there are two practices that could save a young life.
First, when traveling in a car, always secure an infant in a car seat in the back seat.
The rear of a car is a far safer place in the event of an accident. Above all, never use an infant seat in the front of a car that has a passenger-side air bag.
If the bag deploys, it can seriously hurt the infant by striking the back of the safety seat and causing injury.
In a case where an older car only has lap belts in the rear, or shoulder straps that cross over the neck or face of a toddler, it is still important to use a safety belt.
In fact, any belt is better than no belt. Use a booster seat for a young child who has outgrown an infant seat. This will raise the child so that the shoulder strap crosses the chest, not the neck.
If the rear seat has no shoulder straps, buy a booster seat with a harness or a shield. These devices have saved young lives.
Of course, preventive and defensive driving is always the best bet — and drivers should take special precautions when traveling with young passengers.
But sometimes unforeseeable circumstances occur, or other drivers are not exercising the same care as you are.
At those times, it is far better to be prepared and to make sure a child is adequately protected.