Mommy,  Parenting

The Ultimate Guide to Child Proofing Your Car

Whether you are an expectant mom or a mom of babies, toddlers, or young children; these tips will help you keep your children safe while in tow and tips to child proof your car.

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With this guide, you will be able to child proof your car – I’ll tell you about different ways to keep your children more secure in your car that you may not have thought of.

The Ultimate Guide to Child Proofing Your Car

The Ultimate Child Proofing and Child Safety Guide for Your Car

If you’re an expectant mother, you probably know by now the importance of car seats but there are other dangers to be aware of.  Below is a list of child proofing tips to keep your children safe while in your car. 

Protection from the sun
  • Sun Shades You may already have one for your front windshield to keep your car cooler while you’re away but sun shades for the side and back windows are also really helpful, especially if you have children.  During the ride, side sun shades could help block the sun and keep your child cooler and more comfortable.  My son hated the sun in his face and would scream when I would turn the corner and the sun would be in his eyes.I also recommend the back window shades because not only does this help to keep your car cooler, it also helps by blocking any additional sun rays from deteriorating your child car seat’s plastic shell (deteriorated plastic can warp and become brittle).
  • Tinted Windows Another way to keep your car cooler and more comfortable for your children is to get your car windows tinted.  This will help block the sun rays and keep your car much cooler.  I also recommend getting a front windshield sun visor banner strip that will also help block the sun, especially for the front passengers but it also has helped keep the sun out of my children’s eyes when the car’s sun visors do not help.
  • Car Seat Protectors For car seats to be installed properly, they must not be able to move more than 1 inch in any direction.  Properly installed car seats really push on your car’s seats and cushions and can sometimes even puncture them.  Car Seat Protectors are designed to protect your car’s seat from your child’s car seat and it also helps to protect your seat from inevitable spills and messes.  Some also have pockets that doubles as additional storage for your child’s needs.

Turning Off Automatic Capabilities in your Car

There are many automatic capabilities available in newer cars that we love because they make our lives easier.  Here are a few that you may want to turn on/off to keep your child safe in and around your car.

  1. Window Locks – All my windows are automatic and a single push of the button makes it go all the way up or down.  Although convenient, many children have hurt themselves or ended up dying because of these windows.  I have my car window locks ON at all times preventing my kids from playing with their windows in the back seat. 
  2. Child Safety Locks – Most cars have built in child safety locks for the rear passenger doors.  This allows parents to keep our kids inside the car at all times.  My 4 year old son can now take his car seat restraints off and will try to open the door.  He could easily run into traffic and get hurt.
  3. Self-Closing Trunks Although I love this feature of my car, my kids have run under my closing trunk door and have hit their heads.
  4. Self-Closing Doors – Some cars and vans have self-closing sliding passenger doors.
  5. Running Boards – Running boards allow you to easily step out of a tall vehicle and some have running boards that drop down once you open the vehicle door and vice versa.  My parent’s Lincoln Navigator has this feature and I’m always afraid of my child’s foot getting caught in it.
  6. Cigarette Lighters – Some cars still have cigarette lighters in the rear passenger seats where children could easily access and unknowingly hurt themselves using them.

Related Posts

10 Car Seat Safety Quick Tips

Car Organization & Storage Tips
  • Cleaning products & Car Maintenance products – Keep them out of reach of children.  If you carry cleaning or car maintenance products in your car, place them in a secure location in the trunk.  Do not place them in rear passenger storage consoles, compartments, or cup holders.
  • Overhead Compartments – Some cars have small overhead compartments in the rear passenger area that children maybe able to reach and open.  Ensure items inside these compartments are not heavy and are safe for children (no pens, etc)
  • Car Floor Mats – Invest in car floor mats that have no slip features.  This ensure the mats do not bunch up and become a tripping hazard for your children.
  • Car Storage Organizer – These are useful products that can carry and organize all your car needs so you can easily find them.  This helps prevent any from ending up on the floor where your child could trip over them.

Pet-to-Child Safety

Keep your pets and your children safe in the car by placing pets in a sectioned off area of your car away from your children using a gate or crate.

Child-in-Car Reminders

It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see young children’s deaths on the news after being left and forgotten in cars and dying from heat exposure.

My personal favorite reminder is placing a large stuffed animal in my purse so when I grab it to leave, the obnoxiously large stuffed animal reminds me of my children in my car.  

Thoughts to Consider

Have you checked your car for these safety concerns?

What safety tips would you add to this list? 

Do you love advice about parenting and homemaking?

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Wife, Stay at Home Mom of two boys, and blogger. Friends and family call me Kaye but my personal favorite is "Mom." I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to be at home with my two baby boys. As an engineer by career, and stay-at-home mom by choice, I write about how to “Invent. Innovate. Design. Mommyhood” and what that entails.

  • Caroline

    Lots of great tips here! With two little ones, I need to child-proof everything! I definitely need to get one of those car storage organisers 🙂

  • Cassie Liz

    Some great tips here! Car safety with kids is so important! Haven’t seen the gates before!

  • Corinne & Kirsty

    That’s a really informative post. Lots of great tips for parents. I always thought most of the cars had their windows tainted anyhow. xx corinne

  • Cindy’s Travel Diaries

    Great tips ! Thank you !!

  • Mica

    This is a good list, thank you for sharing! 🙂 When I have one or both of the boys with me I put the baby bag in the passenger seat next to my handbag, that way I’ll always remember to get them out of the car (although they are usually so loud I could never forget them anyways, always better to be safe,haha!)

  • Chell Bee

    Wow parenting is a full time gig. Never ever thought about the need to childproof your car.

  • Shawna🌸|WHHblog

    Window locks and floor mats are two musts for us. Kids are messy! We splurged and got good mats. And if you don’t keep those windows locked, you are bound to have your hair whipped all kinds of crazy or something to be flying out the window! Lol

  • Anabelle Barnett

    I don’t have kids yet but this will certainly be helpful once I do someday. Thank you 🙂

  • lexhan

    looking after kids is such a big task but here comes one way tog o through something with ease and still be relaxed that they are safe..

  • StyledForParadise

    wow, great article! I leave in a week on a family road trip and this is so helpful!

  • Andrea Warren

    great post! So many things I really didn’t think about. My kiddos are older but still can use a few of these:)

  • The Crocheting Mom

    Great tips! Childproof locks are perfect because my youngest just started pulling at the handle!!!

  • Jessi Joachim

    Car child safety locks have been life savers. My daughter had a point when she was obsessed with trying to open the doors while we were driving!

  • Amber

    This is great to keep in mind. I don’t think I did a lot of this. We had sun shades at one point, but the kids pulled the down so I never bothered putting them back up.

  • Almost Kosher

    There’s so much to think of when one has kids. I’ll have to bookmark this as a resource if I babysit my friends’ kids!

  • Belle Bermudez-Tubel

    This is such a great post! We do have some of these in our cars but I guess our challenge has always been how to keep our car clean. Lol!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  • Cecilia C. Cannon

    I don’t think I ever thought about sun proofing my car except for the carseat, but these are all great ideas.

  • Jessica Taylor

    So many moms overlook the importance of seat protectors! I love ours! Such a lifesaver!

  • Heather Johnson

    I have a minivan without any bells and whistles. I appreciate that the back windows do not roll up or down at all.

  • Ashvin Nankoo

    These are really awesome tips. All of my windows are tinted and children safety lock is always on. The lock is a pain for adults but it has been really useful!

  • Robin Rue

    These are all SO important. You never know what little hands will get into, so it’s always better to give the car a once over and remove danger.

  • Di Hickman

    All important features in a car for child proofing. Great tips. Child locks might be a pain for most but so worth it if you have kids in the car.

  • Karen Morse

    When it comes to car safety, you definitely need to pay more attention to how to keep the kids safe. This is a good reminder and a lovely guide for all parents.

  • Terri Steffes

    Fantastic tips! I would love to tint my windows more. I think these are all important ideas for safety.

  • Ana De Jesus

    I agree that if you have a child it is definitely best to child proof your car, including having child locks so they can’t escape. Safety is key x

  • The Life of Laura

    Such good tips and so many things I haven’t considered before!!

    Laura || xx

  • Jennifer at MakingOurLifeMatte

    As a Mom of teenagers, it seems like so long ago that I had to worry about those things. I wish I would have known a lot of these tips when they were young.

  • Muna Kenny

    I knew I had to do some major changes to my car when I had my son! He comes first and although my car almost didn’t look the same from the inside but I was happy that he was safe. These tips are great!

  • Gillian Ong

    This should come in handy in the future when I plan to have kids. They really have a knack for unpredictable behaviour!

  • Roselle Carlos-Toledo

    My toddler nephew can seem to stay put in the car. He doesn’t want to sit on the baby car seat either.

  • Kim Z

    Hi! The sun shade is so important for my family as my daughter has vitiligo on her eyelids. We have to make sure she’s not exposed to excess sun.

  • Ophelia Tang

    These are great tips. Child proofing your car is a must. Thanks for sharing.
    XOXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

  • Journa Ramirez

    Great tips! I’ll keep these in mind.. my baby boy is growing too fast and we need to consider these!

  • ElizOF

    Car door and window safety locks are critical because kids have ready access and they can be easily opened. These are good tips as many families are preparing for summer driving trips.

  • Laura Neto

    My boss just had a baby and he was fussing about the car! Every bit makes a difference! Thank you for the info. I am not on kiddies stage yet but like to know I will be prepared!

  • Rhian Westbury

    There’s so many things to think about when travelling with a child, but having the right car seat is one of the most important when it comes to safety x

  • PrimeBeauty

    Those sun shades are great. I think we forget that having a well installed car seat isn’t the only way to protect our kids. No one likes to have the sun beating down on them.

  • ohmummymia

    lovely post ! especially for me because on September we will have long trip about 6 hours in a car with a toddler:d

  • redheadmomblog

    Childproofing your car is definitely something all parents need to consider. As parents, we want to keep our children safe, no matter where we are.

  • Cassie Tucker

    I never sat and thought about all the dangers there are in a car for little ones. I will pass this advice off to my family with kids and see if they have done any of this.

  • Nadia

    These are very neat tips. Definitely not something I have ever looked into (not a mommy yet) but I will refer my mom friends 🙂 Thank you for sharing such a valuable post, Katriza.
    xox Nadia

  • Bonnie Laura

    This is the perfect guide. Very useful for all mums and future mums. Easy but important tips, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Susan Minich

    You have thought for everything! Amazing!

  • mail4rosey

    Kids get into every nook and cranny of everything. It’s part of their delightfully curious nature. Best to keep things childproofed, even the car. 🙂

  • Sarah Bailey

    These sound like some great tips to making sure your car is child proof, sun shades are a must for sure as well as using covers.

  • Jeanine @

    This is great! We don’t have a vehicle or our licenses but we plan to take the steps to change that very soon, and will be perfect for us as we have 7 kiddos to child proof a car for!

  • Alayna

    Great point about self closing doors. I actually got my foot caught in one of those when I was a kid!

  • Brittany Muddamalle

    I would love to get a running board for my kids. I have a van and they’re always jumping in and out of it. I’d rather they have something to help

  • Melanie Walsh

    Hadn’t considered there were so many things to address in my car as far as protection. But these items on your guide make me think I should reevaluate. I know my car could use shades and better seat protection.

  • Sonyo Estavillo

    My daughter is 2 and I definitely need to put up the sun shade again on the window next to her. I used to have one up, but it fell off and lost it’s ability to stay stuck against the window. Nice tips on baby proofing a vehicle.

  • Karate and Caviar

    Great post! I never thought of how much there is to do to make a car child-proof. OMG.

  • Mary O

    Keeping our kids safe must always be our number one priority and you just captured the whole essence with this post. Child-proofing our cars is very important as kids are very inquisitive and can get into any corners of the car if not well monitored. Thanks

  • Susanne Leggett Stewart

    Great post! My grandson and I had a war with the window one day…it is now locked and he can’t operate it.

  • OurMiniFamily

    This is so helpful for new parents!! Don’t want any accidents on our hands–great to be prepared with this guide!

  • Jennifer L. | Modern Chic Mag

    Wow some great tips to childproof cars. My friends with small children are going to love (and need this). Hadn’t even thought of sun shades for the side windows.

  • Lynzy

    This is SUCH a great post and so helpful. Keeping our children safe is such a important thing. This is so helpful to be prepared.

  • Rachel Mouton

    These are all such great ideas and helpful tips. I’m always looking for ways to keep my car safe and clean 🙂

  • Rachel Catherine

    These are really great tips. I’ve never thought of some of these. The tinting the windows is a new one for me. My son is so picky about the sun in his eyes.

  • Echo (The Mad Mommy)

    These are great tips! I can actually use a lot of these today!

  • Alicia Taylor

    Our van has self-closing doors – but they close very slowly – and gently. They also stop at the first sign of any interference. It stops if you simply touch it – so they are safe. I had it “close” on my hand one time. It stopped as soon as there was resistance and didn’t hurt at all

  • Lena B

    My kids find ways to cause troubles. Sometimes they climb on the top of the car and sit there. Yes, I know I have monkeys for my children

  • ronley

    What a great guide. Will keep this in mind for the safety of our kids. Thanks for sharing.

  • Homemade for Elle

    These are super awesome tips! My children’s car seats are starting to etch a permanent indention in my leather seats… I really need to get those seat protectors.

  • Ave T

    Great tips! There are some I would have not thought of myself. Turning off automatic capabilities in my car is a really neat idea!

  • Hey Sharonoox

    Good advice! Having children on tow requires special attention. Safety precaution is necessary. Thanks!

  • Nicole Caudle

    Great advice . I wish our car had running boards. It would make things so much simpler getting the little one in and out of the car.

  • KleyrrFieonah Santiago

    Child-proofing is a must. It is nice to know that even cars can now be child-proofed. I love the concept of running boards. Very practical and useful. (Majoy Eticabla)

  • Rosie

    These are all so important. It would be great idea (I think) for someone to start a company that can check a car for safety for kids, as many people might not be good at determining some of these things. And a rock solid invention that installs something so people will realize if they left their child in the car.

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  • Michele Dennis

    Great advise and tips for child-proofing your car. We must do everything we can to protect our most precious cargo!

  • Karisa

    these are great suggestions – i would have never thought about all the automatic capabilities of the car and how they could come in play!

  • Mica

    These are such great tips! We have the cigarette lighter in our car and I wish we didn’t, luckily the boys can’t get out of their carseats yet as they are so small, but we have the child locks on just in case anyway! 🙂

    Hope that you are having a nice start to your week so far 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • PrimeBeauty

    This is such a comprehensive list. I didn’t realize there were seat protectors available for car seats. These would have come in handy when my daughter was little.

  • Athena Nagel

    These are some awesome tips. I recently put car seat protectors in my cars and love them. The kids all used to ruin my seats – that and their car seat damage to my seats. Not anymore.

  • Princess Quinn

    We all should know these. Safety of our kids should be our top priority. Thank you for sharing!

  • Becca Wilson

    Those car seat protectors are definitely something I wish I would have known about a long time ago. They definitely save your seats!

  • Lauryn Rescoe

    This is a great guide, thanks for sharing! I really want to get my windows tinted, it is very hot where we live so it is almost a must! It definitely helps keep it cooler and safer for children.

    • Katriza

      Better get them done soon! You’ll love them when you do! Thanks for visiting!

  • Paula Pennachio

    This is great thank you so much