By Katie Brenneman
If part of your job description involves driving the kids to activities, it’s your top priority to keep them safe while you’re behind the wheel. Since September is Safety Month, we have some tips for keeping the kids safe and secure and avoiding the chances of an accident.
Keep Kids Secure And Healthy
When transporting kids, you need to use all of the necessary safety measures according to their age. You need to choose the right car seats and they must be secured and positioned properly for the child and their age. This usually means rear-facing seats for newborns and front-facing convertible seats for older children.
Teach children how they can be safe in the car by always buckling their seat belts and wearing your own. Kids under 12 should always sit in the back for their safety. Don’t ever make an exception, even once, because the slightest collision could cause the child to fall in the seat and get hit by the airbag.
It’s possible that the kids in your care could become car sick regardless of where they sit, but there are ways to prevent and treat the issue. If you know they’re likely to get sick, ask the parents if they can take anti-motion sickness medicine that can mitigate the symptoms. If they get sick on the road, stop the car, give the kids some water, and the nausea will wear off in a few hours.
Avoid Distracted Driving
As the driver responsible for the care of children, you must keep your eyes on the road and avoid distracted driving at all costs. Distracted driving comes in many forms and can include:
- Talking on the phone;
- Reaching for items when you’re supposed to have your hands on the wheel;
- Taking your eyes off of the road to change the radio station or GPS.
Avoid confusion and distraction on the road by reviewing the directions on the GPS before you leave the driveway and turn on a radio station that you know kids enjoy and leave it. Use technology and hands-free devices to your advantage, and avoid talking on the phone whenever possible when the kids are in the car.
You should also set rules for what the kids can do in the car so they don’t become a distraction themselves. Teach them not to play loud games or put their hands up in the air, which could obstruct your view out the rear window. You could give them coloring books or play an “I Spy” game to keep them occupied.
Know Your Safety Features
Finally, it’s essential to be aware of the safety features in the car and consider adding a few of your own. Many vehicles have lane assistance technology that gently nudges you into place when you veer off course. If you don’t know about the feature, it can be jarring, and that alone could cause an accident, so it’s good to be informed.
You can add aftermarket safety features to your car, like blind-spot monitoring and a backup camera, enabling you to back out of the driveway and parking spots safely and efficiently. You can quickly install a wireless backup camera on the car’s rear in minutes. Look for a model with a sharp picture so you don’t miss a thing.
As a nanny, it’s essential to be ready for any accident or injury, so consider bringing along your own emergency kit with first aid materials, snacks, water bottles, and jumper cables.
Be responsible when you’re behind the wheel, and get where you’re going safely and without worry.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.