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Be Safe In The Car

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Toddlers, Babies, Health, Preschool Children , Tags: car, car seat, seat belt, taxi, travel safety

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By law, all children traveling in cars must use the correct child restraint until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall.  Once they reach this criteria they must use an adult restraint.  There are a couple of exceptions, but by and large these rules should not be broken and it is the drivers responsibility to make sure they are not.

Children Up To Age 3

  • Young children can travel in the front of the car
  • They must use the correct child restraint in the front or back
  • It is illegal to carry a child in a rear facing child seat in the front which is protected by an active airbag
  • If a child is traveling in a taxi or licensed car and a seat is not available the child must travel in the back.  This is the only exception for under threes and for practical reasons rather than for safety

Children aged 3 -12

Children aged 3 - 12 must wear the correct child restraint whether traveling in the front or rear of the car.  There are 3 exceptions for this age group.

  1. In a licensed taxi or private hire car
  2. If the child is traveling  a short distance for reasons of an emergency or unexpected necessity.
  3. If other fitted car seats make the fitting of a third one impossible, or if there are no restraints available for a third seat

Children traveling in minibuses, coaches or  any other vehicle must wear a restraint or adult seat belt.

Car Seats

A properly fitted child restraint keeps the child in their seat, keeping them in one position.  It also absorbs some of the impact in the event of an accident.  It means your child is less likely to be injured or killed in an crash.  Car seats must be fitted correctly.  Here are a few pointers:

  1. Don't have the car seat too loose
  2. Make sure the car seat is properly rooted
  3. Make sure handle is positioned properly if you have a baby car seat
  4. Ensure your car seats are compatible with your car and correctly fitted
  5. Keep the car seat in good condition and make sure it's not old or worn
  6. Check that seat is correct according to the size (height nd weight) of your baby.

Booster Seat:

Once your chid is 15-25kg (between 4 and 6 years old) they can use a booster seat.  The adult seat belt will restrain them so this becomes the most important item to check.  Make sure that:

  1. The belt is as tight as it can be
  2. The belt is not twisted
  3. The lap belt goes across the hips and not stomach which is higher
  4. The diagonal strap should go over the shoulder and not the neck

Rear Facing Car Seats

Consider using rear facing car seats instead of forward facing ones - although less popular in the UK they are in fact considerably safer.

Newborn Baby Essentials

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Babies, Parenting , Tags: baby, car seat, clothes, cot, diapers, essentials, nappies, newborn

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If you're expecting your first baby, you probably don't know what to expect - here are some of the essentials that you'll need as soon as your baby is born!

  • Car seat: this is the single most important item because unless you live next to the hospital or are having a home birth, you won't be able to bring your baby home without a car seat. Safety equipment is best bought new because you don't know the history of second hand items. Make sure that the seat is properly fitted and that you are familiar with how to insert and release your baby's seat prior to the birth.
  • Diapers/nappies: Whether you decide to use disposable or cloth nappies, you'll need a plentiful supply as soon as your baby is home. A changing mat is useful but not essential as you can use towels to begin with.
  • Crib or cot: you'll want a bed for your baby as soon as he or she comes home. It's a good idea for babies to sleep in your bedroom for the first few months but not in your bed because there's a high risk that you might accidentally smother your baby. Have a crib, moses basket or cot ready.
  • Clothes: a plentiful supply of clothes is needed. You should have clothing ready with you in the hospital - vests, babygrows or onesies, cardigans, socks and mittens will give you a choice of clothing and layers. Hospitals usually recommend a hat to keep the head warm.
  • Bottle and formula: Even if you are intending to breastfeed it is a good idea to have a suitable bottle and formula ready just in case there are problems that prevent you from being able to feed your baby at any time during the first few weeks.

Don't panic if you get home and suddenly realise that there's something you have forgotten to stock in advance. You'll probably be able to get hold of most essential equipment or clothes from your nearest supermarket, even if it means asking friends or family to run an errand for you!


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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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