Getting into a car that has been baking in the sun for hours is THE WORST. As a Florida native, beating the heat is something I am still trying to figure out, but what I do know are several car seat safety tips to keep your little ones safe in the (hot) seat/weather.
Car Safety in Hot Weather
1. Lightweight clothing
Dress for success with light, breathable fabrics. Most adults know the red-hot feeling of unprotected flesh touching the car’s seat or seat belt — or worse, the metal buckle. Are we in the car or the depths of hell? It can send you reeling. When it comes to clothing, let’s do our kiddos a solid and make sure body parts exposed directly to the harness, and buckles are always covered — no direct skin contact. Let’s not add a trip to the ER for burn treatment in the summer heat. And yes, this means clothes always go on over bathing suits!
2. Crank the car’s AC
Before you even think about getting in the car, you’ve got some quick steps to take — and friends, this one IS a race, so get moving. Ready, set …. turn on the ignition, get alllll the windows and car doors open to release the hot air, and put the air conditioning on full freakin’ blast. If you want to show off, point the vents towards the roof of the car. Hot air rises, so beam the air out of the vents to the hot zone. You did it! Now, take a deep breath because you need to give this cooling process a hot minute. The longer the car has been sitting, the longer this may take. Now you just need to wait for the cooling system to do its thing! Pro tip: If you have more than one adult with you, it never hurts to send someone ahead to initiate the cooling process.
3. It’s not rocket science; use your Noggle!
If your car is doesn’t have vents in the back, or if you just want to give your rear facing kids the VIP AC experience, check out a product called The Noggle. It’s awesome at redirecting air, which can be helpful during the initial cool-down process. This product is also great because it’s safe to use in transit, so your kiddos can keep the cool breeze coming and be in charge of regulating their own temperature by positioning their Noggle exactly where they want it. Oh yeaaaaah, a safe product that satisfies their never-ending desire for independence — who doesn’t love that?! And bonus, airflow is something that can really help keep car sickness away, so the Noggle is one of my first recommendations for any kiddo who tends to get sick in the seat. It’s like we sort of know what we are doing sometimes, right?!
4. Park smart
Think about how much direct sun exposure your car is getting. When you can, park in a shady spot and use a windshield visor when the car is parked. Window tinting, clings, or sunshades are great preventative measures to help offset the sun beating in your car, making it feel like an oven. If you’re thinking about using sunshades while driving to block the rays from your kiddos, buy the ones that stick directly to the window without any suction cups or rigid frames — these are your safest option because they are less likely to become projectiles. If you’re like me and like to be told exactly which ones are safe, as always, check my Amazon page. I’m here to make it easy for you!
How to keep the car seat cool?
1. Just say NO!
Friendly reminder: this isn’t the time to put anything between your child and their car seat — this also means avoiding any after-market products that claim to be safe for this scenario, They aren’t! Skip the cooling inserts and just wait it out, give it five — the car will cool down and the feeling of extreme heat usually goes away after the air is on and you settle in.
And while we’re talking about what not to do… we’ll just mention here never to leave children or pets unattended in the car. Even if you crack the windows, even if you’ll just be gone for a second. On hot days, the car will heat up super fast, and because children’s body temperature can rise almost as quickly, it’s a no-go! Unload the kiddos first, then go back for the groceries or the pool bag.
2. Plan ahead… safely!
If you don’t have time to wait, you can safely cool the car seat between drives with Little Bum Coolers or DIY ice packs that you remove and store away before loading up. Covering the car seat with a white sheet or towel and cracking the windows can also make a big difference when the car will be sitting for a while! Even when the vehicle’s interior temperature is unbearably hot, your child won’t have to sit straight on a burning surface in their car seat.
2. The best car seat covers? NONE!
When temperatures rise, you may want the best car seat covers for your baby seat – think again. Placing a blanket or cover over the top of the car seat or stroller cover can create a “greenhouse effect,” limiting airflow and causing temperatures to rise to dangerous levels.
- Heatstroke begins when the core body temperature reaches about 104°
- A child can die when their body temperature reaches 107°
I put 4 common ways we see car seats covered to the temperature test in full sun on an 87° day. All of the covered options were over 107° after 30 minutes. This is all the more reason to limit your baby’s time in their car seat when outside of the car. Plus, when their baby seat is covered, you no longer have a line of sight to your baby, and that is a must when out and about.
7. Shop with us!
Here I am sharing my tips, tricks and tools to keep you, your little ones and your car seat cool. Shop the best car seat cover to safely cover your baby seat outside the car and car seat coolers that will keep your car seat for infant, car seat convertible and high back booster seat from heating up. Keep cool on the go too with the best stroller fan and best sunscreen for kids and more!
Shop our latest Amazon Live on Products to Keep Cool in the Car Seat.
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