Tag Archives: car seat

Top 10 Winter Driving Tips

Cold weather can bring a new set of driving challenges, especially if you are not from a climate where you have experience with these conditions. Driving in the snow and ice can be a challenge even for experienced drivers. If you don’t have to go out in bad weather, stay home. If you do have to go out, here are some tips. More information can be found on the AAA website.

Top 10 Winter Driving Tips

  1. Bulky coats and snowsuits should not be worn underneath the harness (straps) of a car seat. Check out information here and discuss with your host parents.
  2. Keep cold-weather supplies in your car, such as a blanket, a flashlight, window ice scraper, snacks and water.
  3. Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
  4. Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  5. Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  6. Avoid sudden moves, accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  7. Don’t stop going up a hill.
  8. Increase the following distance between you and the car ahead of you. 
  9. Know your brakes. Test our how they perform on slippery surfaces in a safe place where there are not other cars parked close to you.
  10. Leave early to give yourself extra time and drive slowly.

Even better… If you don’t have to go out driving in snow and ice, stay home.

This short video has some great information.

Photo: Steve Pisano (Flickr)

September 15-21 is Child Passenger Safety Week

To help keep children safe on the roads, NHTSA is sponsoring Child Passenger Safety Week from September 15-21, 2019. The goal is to make sure your child is in the correct car seat, that it’s properly installed and used, and that it’s registered with its manufacturer to ensure you receive important safety updates.

Car seats and boosters are one of the easiest ways to keep your child safe and, when installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers. Unfortunately, many parents and caregivers install and/or use their child seats incorrectly. Among children under 5, an estimated 325 lives were saved in 2017 alone because they were properly buckled, but an additional 46 children could have been saved if every child was properly buckled.

Parents, Are You Using the Correct Car Seat or Booster Seat?

Parents and Au Pairs, Get Help Checking Your Car Seat

Parents, Get Notified about Recalls on your Car Seat

Image: nhtsa.gov

Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Law

Screen Shot 2012-09-28 at 3.32.24 PM

Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Law

(Effective October 1, 2012)

• Every child under 8 years old must ride in an appropriate child restraint* unless the child is 4 feet, 9 inches or taller.

• Every child from 8 to 16 years old who is not secured in a child restraint must be secured in a vehicle seat belt.

Protect your children as they ride!

Children under 13 years old should ride in the back seat. The back seat is the safest.

Car Seat Safety is a Shared Responsibility


In MD, DC & VA the laws state that children under age 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat that is appropriate for their age, weight and height. Children over age 8 must be properly secured in a vehicle seat belt.

Car seats and booster seats save lives, there is no doubt about it. But, just having the car seat in the car is not enough.  Car seats and booster seats can only save lives if they are properly installed and used.

Host Parents

  • It is your responsibility to show the au pair how to properly use your car seats and/or booster seats.
  • If you expect her to change seats to different vehicles, show her how to install them properly.
  • If you do not want her to remove and re-install car seats, make that expectation clear.
  • Even if the au pair has a separate car that she is the only one driving the kids in, please check the installation of the seats periodically.

Au Pairs

  • You are responsible for making sure that you understand how to buckle the children safely in their seats and be sure that they are safely buckled in every time you take them in the car with you.
  • The car should not move unless everyone is buckled.
  • Make it a habit to check the seats each time you put the children in to see that the seat is secure and not too loose.
  • If the seat is not working properly or you cannot figure out how to get it tight, ask your host parents as soon as possible.
  • If your host parents have asked you not to remove the car seat(s), please follow that rule.
  • If you need to remove the seat for some reason, ask them for help putting the seat back in.

If you need help installing car seats, find a car seat inspection station near you: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm