The arrival of a newborn is always exciting and it brings along with it an array of new necessities. Right from strollers and clothes to toys, there are several things to be considered before the birth of a baby. With so many things to consider, shopping for a car is probably the last thing on your mind. However, for several drivers, a new baby announces the replacement of an old car with a new car; a car that comes with more safety features and more space. In short, it’s time to opt for a family car.
We have put together a few points to aid you with shopping for a new car.
1. Car Seat
A newborn is going to spend a few years in the child seat and thus, you need to buy a car that comes with a rear seat.
The rear seat must be able to fit the child seats properly. Improperly installed seats may lead your baby to be injured or killed. Not all rear car seats can accommodate child seats and you need to make sure you take the child seat to your dealer and try to install it in the vehicle before you purchase the vehicle.
Correctly installed seat belts won’t move more than an inch. Most new cars and seats also come with a LATCH that offers much better mounting, as compared to conventional seat belts. In case you have convertible seats, make sure that you test both the rear as well as the front-facing installation.
2. Illuminated Trunk Release
A number of children have suffocated themselves crawling into the boot of the car and getting trapped there. Make sure to check if your vehicle comes with a trunk release. Your kids will be spending the first few years of their life in that car. As they become old enough to understand, teach your children that the boot is there to store cargo rather than to play hide-and-seek. Here are some other preventive measures you can observe.
- Always supervise children when they are in or around the vehicle
- Lock the boot and the car doors and make sure that the keys and the remote entry devices are away from the reach of children.
- Ensure windows are slightly down to ensure there is no build-up of heat in the car
- Only consider leaving a child in your car if they are old enough to get out of the vehicle themselves and make sure they are always within your sight
3. Safety Ratings
While choosing a car with a plan to transport children, safety is a prime concern. As a parent, you would certainly want to ensure the best for your children. Here are a few safety features you can look for when you purchase a car.
- Side Curtain Air Bag
The side curtain airbags act as a cushion between the window and the occupant. These side curtain airbags will protect your child’s head from striking the side of your car or afford protection from an intruding vehicle from the side in a collision.
Consider this as a key feature when shopping for a car.
- Net for Cargo Area
If you are in an accident or collision with another vehicle, items stored in the cargo area of an SUV or a wagon may become projectiles inside the vehicle, potentially injuring individuals inside the vehicle. You should consider horizontal or vertical nets to partition the rear of the vehicle from the front. Investing in partitioning nets will reduce the chances of your child being hit by items placed in the rear of the vehicle.
4. Cargo Space
When you have a child, you will need the boot of the vehicle for carrying larger items like a huge box of diapers, baby wipes, a feeding chair, or stroller. You need to assess the capability of your future car in allowing these items to be transported in the vehicle before concluding your purchase. Check out whether your car has adequate space for accommodating the stroller. Don’t place the stroller into the cargo area just the once, lift it in and out of the cargo bay a few times to find out whether it is suitable for your stroller.
Also, check out whether the car can be cleaned easily. If there is a child in the car, things are going to be messy. Though you can never spill things during the test drive and find out whether it is easy to clean, you can always take note of the materials used in the interior of the car. Leather seats are far easier to clean than cloth seats and bear this in mind.
After you buy a car, make sure you personalise it and announce the arrival of your child to the world. You can include the name of your baby through personalised DVLA number plates or use the fun baby on board signs to announce the arrival of your newborn to the world.