Travel Safety Tips

Travel Safety Tips

It is no surprise that after being at home for quite some time due to coronavirus, many people are jumping at the chance to catch a flight or hit the road and venture out. There may also be other reasons for traveling, such as the need to see your family, or even work. Regardless of the reason, if you do, it is more important than ever before to take extra steps to be safe.

It is important to acknowledge that the CDC recommends staying home over any sort of travel.

Prior to Traveling, there are a few safety steps to take.

  • Let a trust-worthy neighbor know your plans so that they can keep an eye out for your house. Also, be sure to lock all doors, windows and close your garage.
  • Be sure not to post your travel plans to social media prior, as this can alert burglars to know when you will be out of town and potentially lead to a break in.
  • If you have packages being delivered, try and get them delivered to a friend or family members, to lessen the chance of them being stolen.
  • Meet with a certified car seat technician. If you are traveling with young children it is always a good idea to get your car seats checked out to ensure proper install and harnessing. Proper use of a car seat can decrease the risk of injury and death up to 74%. It is worth taking the 30 minutes with a trained professional to put your mind at ease. Find a local technician today.

In Action Travel Safety for Kids

  • Pack sanitizing wipes, sanitizer, and be sure to wash your hands! Having wipes can allow for you to sanitize items you or your children have touched or might use. At any chance you have, take a break to wash your hands.
  • Bring a car seat! You may be driving or flying, and kids who require car sears will need to have them on vacation, no exceptions. There are alternative seats such as lightweight car seats if you will be switching planes or cars often.
  • Teach your children to stay nearby. When traveling you may be in unfamiliar places, and it is important your kids stay near an adult at times. Have them dress in bright clothing to make it easier to see them. Take the time before traveling to explain to your children how they need to stay close by to make sure they are safe.

Road Trip Safety Tips

  • Give your car a once-over. Before hitting the road, make sure to check your entire car. Make sure there are no safety hazards, no service lights on, you can see through all mirrors and that the tire pressure is not low.
  • Buckle up! We may think that buckling up before hitting the road is common sense but check to make sure all seat belts are properly working and that any car seats are properly installed. This is an easy area to overlook but can save a life.
  • Take turns driving. When driving long distances, it is no surprise that you may find yourself tired. Having another person to alternate driving with can keep your more alert, leading to safer travels.

Taking trips with your family means new memories, new experiences and all-around fun times. Planning ahead and making sure you are prepared will keep both you and your family safer!

Dump those old car seats this Valentine’s Day!

It is that time of year to break up with your old car seats. It isn’t you, it is them – they aren’t safe. You can’t just be friends and pass by them in your garage hoping to rekindle a connection later. Make the promise to dump them once and for all! Below are a couple of options to help you keep this promise.

  1. Recycle them at Colorado State Patrol office (3832 S. I-25, Fort Collins). Bring them Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Car Seats Colorado has provided a storage pod so let’s fill it up! No need to strip the car seats.
  2. Loveland Recycling Center recycles car seats for Loveland residents. Please strip them of all pieces.
  3. Cut the straps and toss them in the trash.

Don’t forget to learn how to use your new car seats! Read the manual and make a free appointment with a certified car seat technician. Find a list of techs in Larimer and Weld County here!

Car Seat Safety Outside of Your Car

Written by Gregory Colton, EMT/Child Passenger Safety Coordinator, UCHealth Emergency Medical Services.

Ambulance crews across the country respond to thousands of pediatric calls every day.  Of all those calls nothing will make us push our ambulance to the limits like responding to a call for a baby who has fallen asleep and does not wake up.  Sleep related incidents are a leading cause of death for infants and we all know it too well.

We frequently talk about safe use of car seats in your car, but what about car seat safety outside of your car?  A properly installed and adjusted car seat can protect your child from many dangers, but when used incorrectly a car seat can become a potential hazard.

Rear-facing-only or ‘infant’ car seats often have two parts, a base that stays inside the vehicle and a carrier that caregivers can take with them.  Many parents opt for these systems due to their convenience and ability to be used in a stroller.  This may give parents the impression that their car seat carrier is a handy multifunctional device.  However, it is important to remember that your child’s car seat was designed to be just that, a car seat.  Car seat carriers are engineered for safe riding in cars and compatible strollers.  They are not intended for napping or extended use outside of a vehicle.

We all want our baby to be happy and comfortable.  As a result it can be tempting to keep them happy by letting them continue sleeping in their car seat and let them be comfortable by loosening the harness straps.  It seems innocent enough, but this actually creates a very dangerous situation for a child.

Two of the most important ways a car seat carrier keeps your child safe are through proper recline angle and proper positioning.

  • Recline angle – A baby’s head is heavier than its brand-new neck is ready to hold up. At an incorrect recline angle a baby’s head can drop forward and block off their airway.
  • Positioning – Babies are squirmy little worms. Without something to stabilize them in place a baby can roll onto their side or their face and suffocate or slide down and be strangled by the harness straps.

We strongly recommend using the car seat carrier outside of the vehicle or stroller as little as possible.  That said, we do understand that the ideal world is not always achievable.  If you do have to use the carrier by itself please keep the following points in mind:

  • Always keep the harness buckled and snugged down tight. – This will keep your baby safely positioned. Remember the pinch test and the chest clip at armpit level.
  • Place the carrier on a firm, hard surface low to the ground. – This will help prevent the carrier from toppling over or resting at an incorrect angle.
  • Keep the baby under constant supervision. – A baby’s blood oxygen levels can drop dangerously low when their airway is blocked even for a brief time.
  • Transition the baby from the car seat to the crib as soon as possible. ­– A firm, flat crib free of potential suffocation hazards is the safest place for a baby to sleep.

If you need help with your car seat or have any questions there are a number of EMS, law enforcement, and fire professionals who are passionate about child passenger safety and here to help.  Please click here for a list of available resources in your community.

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