Safe & Healthy Travel for Baby During COVID

By Carolyn Davis Cockey, MLS, LCCE

Safe & Healthy Travel for Baby During COVID: If you’re like most moms during this pandemic, you have both disinfecting wipes and antibacterial hand sanitizer at the ready. But wait before you plunge into car seat sanitizing, say experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Sure these products may be safe for use on the auto’s door handles, windows, and the harder surfaces, but these chemical cleansers and sanitizers could damage the belts and straps of your car seat system, potentially allowing them to fail in a crash.

What’s a conscientious parent to do? Follow the advice from experts at the AAP to make every car trip a safe and healthy trip for your growing baby.

Your car is an extension of your home

Just as you’ve limited the people you allow into your home during pandemic, the same holds true for your car. Sadly, most car seats, boosters, and the straps and belts of car seats can’t be disinfected. Instead, cleanse them regularly with a mild, infant-safe soap and water. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your infant carriers and car seats regarding how to safely clean the cloth cover, the seat base, and its many straps and buckles. They may list particular products to use and those to avoid.

Disinfecting your car after a COVID-19 exposure

Should an older sibling have a COVID-19 exposure at school, for example, do the following to ensure your little one remains safe in the car around their siblings:

Clean and disinfect all hard surfaces where the person who has been exposed to the virus rode, including seats, all door and back of seat handles, buttons for windows, locks, radio controls, heat and air conditioning knobs, cup holders, cargo boxes, and use surface-specific cleaning or disinfecting products in a 6-foot radius from where they sat for each of your auto’s surfaces.

SEE ALSO: Mindful Diapering

Remove all boosters, car seats, carriers, strollers, and other devices for baby, and put them out of reach in tightly sealed plastic bags for 3 days or more. Wear gloves and eye protection while cleaning and disinfecting the vehicle while you also remove all of the contents of the car. During this 3-day period, use another car seat for your little one to be as safe as possible.

SEE ALSO: Traveling With Your Baby

Don’t allow anyone to sit in the seat where the person who was exposed to COVID-19 rode in the vehicle until you’ve disinfected the car and three days have passed.

Weather permitting, parking in a sunny location to heat up the car’s interior, and then air the car out by leaving the windows down.

SEE ALSO: Tips For Traveling With Tots

When you remove the car seats and other carriers from the plastic bags, clean them with a mild soap and water before putting them back into the car.

Keep to these tips for Safe & Healthy Travel for Baby During COVID

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Carolyn Davis Cockey, MLS, LCCE, is founding editor of Healthy Mom&Baby, Senior Director of Partnerships & Publications at AWHONN, and a Lamaze-certified childbirth educator in Sarasota, FL.

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