Challenges of Car Seat Safety in the Summer Months

car seatIt's summer and temperatures in many places are hot, hot, hot. Unfortunately, this means that your car -- and its occupants -- often are too. Kids and adults alike can be burned by a hot buckle or strap, so it's important to make sure that your car, and your kid's car seats, are safe.

Also, keeping kids cool while driving is another task that often can take a little ingenuity.

Here are some ideas on keeping everyone safe in the car in higher temperatures.

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When it comes to your car itself, put it in your garage if you have one. That negates most issues, especially if you leave windows down/open while it's in there as well. But for many people, like me, that's not an option. Leaving windows cracked doesn't help much -- in fact it's debated if it helps at all -- but letting any heat that goes into the car and stays there have a way out can help. Plus, for many, leaving windows cracked isn't an option either.

Try covering your windshield from the inside with a sun shade. Side-window shades can help a lot too, but don't use the kind that suction-cups with a solid bar, especially while driving, as it can cause serious injuries in the event of an accident (and take it from me, a head hitting a window hurts enough as is without a big metal bar involved). The stick-on/cling kind work very well, stay better, and aren't a safety risk.

When you get your children in the car, put your hand on the buckles to make sure they're not too hot, and feel the seat itself too. If it is too hot, holding the hot buckle in a towel can help transfer heat, and just letting the car air out for a few minutes can make it bearable. Be careful not to put kids in hot seats since they can be burned. You can also freeze some ice packs to hold against the buckles or the seat if it regularly is too warm. There's even "Cold Seat" product that you freeze, then lay on the car seat to cool it off quickly. It supposedly stays cold enough that if you roll it up (gel stays flexible while frozen) and stick it somewhere cool, like under your seat or in your diaper bag, you can still use it and have it cold even after you're done running your errands and ready to go home.

Once on the road, things can be a little trickier. Our car's a/c doesn't work, and we lived in the hottest part of the country for a bit. Ouch. While driving, try to offer your children lots of fluids -- we keep water bottles with us 24/7, and often put ice in them to keep it colder longer. We also kept a spray bottle with cool water in the car, and would randomly spritz the kids to help keep them cool and help the wind from the windows cool their skin as well. Older kids can have their own spray bottle to mist themselves or even their younger siblings. Some have soft foam fans that are battery-powered for extra cooling. If your a/c or air does work, obviously you've got some benefits there. Many people suggest aiming one of the vents towards the ceiling, as that seems to help get air to rear-facing children especially well.

Do you have any other tips for helping kids stay cool in the car?

 

Images via Amazon; Amazon

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