Nothing says Labor Day like a car full of loved ones headed for an end of Summer getaway or celebration. Before you brave the road with your precious cargo, check out these little-known safety tips! I spoke with Becky Michalkiewicz, the statewide child safety seat coordinator of the California Highway Patrol, who offered up this expert advice.
- Watch out for anything in your car that's loose, like toys. "It is important to make sure the environment of your car is the safest possible," says Michalkiewicz. "Make sure there is nothing that isn't strapped down because that becomes a projectile" in an accident.
- Don't clip items on your car seat, even something like a toy mobile. Attaching items that didn't come with your car seat voids the manufacturer's liability if you are in an accident and the car seat malfunctions.
- It may sound simple, but make sure you know how a car seat looks and sounds when it is installed correctly. Michalkiewicz said the CHP commonly sees car seats that are not attached at all.
If you need help, contact your local highway patrol. The CHP, for example, will schedule an appointment with a trained technician to check your car seat and how it fits your child.