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Safer Roads Safer Communities Sharing the Responsibility For information on road safety please visit: www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

Bump to Toddler Road safety advice from pregnancy to baby’s first years


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Safer for Bump to Toddler

Contents: Introduction

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Buckle up safely for baby and you

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Child car seats

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Driveway safety & car park safety

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Buggy safety

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Cycle safety with your child 12 In-car safety for your child

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Long journey travel tips / heat in cars

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Further useful information

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Introduction From the moment you know you’re pregnant you need to start thinking about road safety for you and your new child. Using the time before your baby arrives to visit friends and family can be important to you. Driving in your car is something you probably do regularly but there may be issues you’re worried about, like how to comfortably wear your seat belt, whether it’s safe to be near airbags and whether you should drive at all. This booklet guides you through making the important decisions of buying a car seat and buggy to offering tips to help educate your little one about early road safety. It contains information which will help keep you, your family and other road users as safe as possible on the road. 87% of pregnant women wear seatbelts incorrectly - Dr. Serpi Acar, Loughborough University 2001 Everyone is responsible for road safety in Sussex. This includes everyday road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, van or lorry drivers and people who use the road to get to work. This booklet has been produced by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP). For more information about our work visit: www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk

www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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Did you know that • The law requires you to wear

a seat belt, even if you are pregnant. • Wearing a seat belt can reduce the injury risk to your unborn baby by up to 70 per cent.


Buckle up safely for baby and you! Pregnancy is an exciting time of change but don't change your habit of wearing a seat belt. Buckling up is even more important than before. Wearing a seat belt saves lives. Wearing a seat belt while pregnant will not harm your baby. It may not always be comfortable but if you have a crash, it will improve your safety and will help to protect both of you, and any other adults and children travelling with you. Advice on how to wear your seat belt safely through pregnancy • Wear the diagonal strap between your breasts, moving the strap around the side of your bump. • Make sure the lap strap sits comfortably under your bump. If it is over your belly button then it is too high. It should go from hip bone to hip bone, as low as possible. • As your bump grows you'll need to adjust your car so it is more comfortable for you to drive. When you push the seat back, the view out of the mirrors can change. Always check your mirrors when you adjust the seat or the height of the wheel. If you move your seat away from the wheel, make sure you aren't stretching to reach the clutch, brake and accelerator as it could affect your reaction times.

www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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Child car seats How to get the right in-car protection for your child: The law states – appropriate child restraints must be used until children are 135cm tall or 12 years old (whichever comes first). Start safe – when you leave hospital, or on your first car journey, your new baby must be using an appropriate car seat. The right way – babies from birth to 9 -12 months (up to 13kg) should stay in a rear facing seat for as long as possible. It is not recomended to use a rear facing seat in the front of your car if it has an airbag on the passenger side. The right one – check that your seat is suitable for your car and for your child’s age and weight. The car manufacturer will be able to confirm your seat is suitable for your vehicle. Who knows best – use a retailer who will fit your child seat for you. Go back to your retailer after the birth of your baby to double check the fitting of your seat. Every time – keep the fitting instructions in the car so you can check your seat is fitted properly every time you use it. Sure is safest – check that your seat meets the latest safety standard UN ECE Regulation 44.03 or 44.04 Don’t use it, if you don’t know – We recomend not buying a second hand seat as you don’t have access to its history.


For up to date information: www.childcarseats.org.uk

www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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Keep children with you at all times while you move or park your car. Always hold your toddler’s hand in a car park and put your child safely into the car before loading your shopping.


Driveway safety

Car park safety

Toddlers should never be put into harm’s way. They do not realise that cars are dangerous and get highly absorbed by whatever they are doing.

Make some ‘safer car park’ rules: • Double check where any children are before you reverse, they should be either safely belted in the car, or holding hands with an adult in plain sight. • Teach older children to hold onto the car door handle while you are opening other doors or loading in younger children. • Reward their good behaviour in car parks, remember you can be distracted while supermarket shopping. • Stay calm and positive as this will help keep them safe and make for a happy experience.

Make some ‘safer driveway’ rules: • Teach - make it clear to your child that they should treat it as if it is a small road and not to use it as playground. • Make play areas safe - fence any gardens fully. It’s vital that children can't run towards or behind a car. • Be pro-active - remind any visitors about the dangers of children on driveways and set clear rules. • Is it a road? - drivers do not expect children to be in driveways. Make it out of bounds!

www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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Buggy safety Be aware of potential dangers when you are out and about with your buggy: Strapped in – always check that your child is strapped in securely before setting off. If using a car seat in your buggy, make sure it is securely clipped in. Be bright, be seen – wear or carry something bright or light coloured so other road users can see you, or attach something reflective to the buggy. Control other children – make sure other children on foot hold onto the buggy tightly and keep yourself between them and the traffic. Find a safe place to cross – don’t be tempted to push the buggy into the road in front of you. Find a safe place to cross and use a designated crossing place wherever possible. Parked cars – if you do have to cross between parked cars be aware that although drivers may see you, they will probably not see the buggy. Where is the buggy? – whilst loading the car, always be conscious of where the buggy and your children are. Footpaths – when there is no footpath, walk on the correct side of the road so you see oncoming traffic and it sees you, keeping an eye out for vehicles reversing or entering driveways.


Always remember the buggy code: • Never leave your child • •

alone in a pushchair Push chairs are for children NOT shopping Use an approved clip-on board for extra passengers Check regularly for wear and tear on wheels, brakes and harness Ensure your buggy has two locks and use them so it won’t fold up with your child in it Ensure that your push chair is made to British standard 7409:1996 When stationary always use the brake!

www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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Cycle safely with your child Cycling is a popular and healthy way to get around and there’s no reason to stop when you have your baby. Safe and sound –ALWAYS ensure that you and your baby are wearing the correctly fitted and adjusted cycle helmet. Make sure the straps are fastened correctly. Choose a helmet that fits closely, feels comfortable and has cooling ventilation slots. It should not cover the ears or restrict vision. Having a cycle bell or horn is useful in alerting other road users and pedestrians of your presence. Comfort first – choose a seat that sits comfortably on the back of your bike – ideally with a grip bar for baby to hold on to. Get it fitted by a trained cycle mechanic. A perfect view – fit a rear view mirror so you can see your baby with a quick glance rather than having to twist your body right round. Stand up – have a double foot stand fitted so the bike is more stable when putting baby in or taking baby out of the seat. Unstable – bikes with child seats can be unstable and can fall over easily. Never leave your bike unattended or propped against a wall with your baby still in the seat. Snug as a bug – your baby will be sitting still and is therefore likely to get cold or burnt quicker than you. Dress them accordingly and make sure they are suitably protected against the elements.

www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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In-car safety for your child Sit children in the back where they are safest. If you must sit a child in the front passenger seat, slide the seat as far back as possible, as this lessens the force of impact with airbags or dashboards. Children must use a correct restraint in the front seat - however it is not recommended to use a rear facing child seat if you have an active airbag fitted.

In-car safety reminders Loose items - objects can fly about in an accident. Keep all loose items secure in the glove box, the boot or behind any barrier. Praise your child - encourage good car behaviour, such as not wriggling out of seat belts or harnesses, not distracting the driver and not playing with the locks. Lock it - activate the child locks so that your child can't open the door when the car is moving. Teach your child - advise them to never put their arms, legs or head out of a vehicle window even if it is stationary. Never allow a child to play unsupervised in a parked car as they might release the hand brake, burn themselves with the cigarette lighter or get locked in.

Try to stay calm and positive as this will help keep them safe and make the journey a better experience.


www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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Long journey travel tips

The following tips can help keep children comfortable and safe when driving, even in hot conditions.


• Give them plenty of water to

drink during trips.

• Dress them in appropriate,

comfortable clothing.

• Don't loosen your child's

harness in summer, it must fit snugly whether they are awake or asleep. • Stick visors and shades to the side windows. (Check they don’t stop the driver from seeing the road from side or rear windows) When stopped, hang a damp towel over the windscreen to protect your baby from the sun. • On long journeys always stop every two hours so everyone can get out of the car and have a stretch. This includes your baby, who can roll around on a rug on the ground. Give them things to do suitable for the car - DVDs, games, audio books, drawing, or other distractions.

Heat in cars Cool your car as much as possible before you let your child get in. Cars turn into ovens very quickly, even on cool or overcast days. Leaving your child alone in a car is extremely dangerous.

DANGERS TO BE AWARE OF: • Winding the window down a couple of inches will not keep the car cooler. • The colour of the seats and interior has no effect on rising heat. • Large cars heat up just as fast as small cars. • Younger children have greater sensitivity to heatstroke. • Younger children will dehydrate faster.

www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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Further information can be found on: www.childcarseats.org.uk www.dft.gov.uk www.rospa.co.uk www.brake.org.uk www.highways.gov.uk www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/overview As your child grows, to keep up to date and learn more about what’s going on in your area, please search on road safety at: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk www.eastsussex.gov.uk www.westsussex.gov.uk To learn more about our initiatives on road safety in Sussex visit our website: www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk


With kind acknowledgment to the Department for Transport (DFT), West Sussex County Council Road Safety Team and Warwickshire County Council Road Safety Unit for their support, information and guidance.

www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

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Web: www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk Email: communications@sussexsaferroads.gov.uk Produced in 2013 by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership. All information correct at the time of going to print.

Printed on recycled paper

Sussex Safer Roads Partnership PO Box 2094 Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 6XT

Bump to Toddler  

This booklet aims to give you some information which will help keep you, your family and other road users stay as safe as possible on the ro...

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