MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The holidays are a time to visit friends and family, which usually means travel. With more people on the roads, the WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program is reminding families to stay safe while out and about.
Before any holiday fun, families must arrive safely to their destination.
The Injury Prevention Team says to go by the rule of “everyone buckled, every ride, every time.” That includes making sure children are in the appropriate car seats for their height and weight.
Those car seats should also be used on airplanes. As an added benefit, this will ensure that families have the proper car seat with them for any additional driving at their destination.
Before leaving home in the winter, prepare for any emergencies that could happen on the road. The Injury Prevention Team recommends packing extra blankets, food, diapers, and anything else that may be needed to care for children. Also make sure to keep cell phones fully charged.
While loading the car, also make sure that any hot foods, large packages, and anything that could fly around in a crash are secure in the trunk.
The final step to safe driving is being aware of the environment because roads and parking lots are busier during the holidays. Stay alert and avoid distractions. Don’t use the phone or listen to loud music.
When arriving at the destination, there are a few more steps parents should take to make sure their children stay safe. Safe sleep should always be a priority, no matter where the family is traveling.
The Injury Prevention Team wants parents to remember these safe sleep tips:
- Babies younger than one year should always be placed on their backs to sleep on a firm, flat surface.
- Infants should always sleep alone and in a crib that is free of any toys, blankets, pillows, or other persons.
- Co-sleeping, sleeping in an adult bed alone, or with anyone else should be avoided due to risk of suffocation.
- Infants should not routinely sleep in any infant seat, swing, stroller, or bouncer.
- Make sure grandparents, caregivers, and other family members know the best safe sleep practices.