By the time your baby gets into his car seat and you’re out in the yard, you’ve got a couple of options to make sure the air vents are venting properly, so that baby doesn’t get heat-related heat burns.
First, take a close look at your car’s interior.
If you have any of the following: A broken or missing vent on the rear passenger-side door.
A broken seat belt buckle.
A loose seat belt or a seat belt strap that hasn’t been properly tied or stowed away.
A seat belt that’s too tight or too loose.
A leaky vent.
An overheated air bag.
If none of these issues are addressed, you’ll need to consider some other measures.
But if you have a car with a cracked air vent, then the heat-resistance of the air in the car is pretty much assured, says Dr. Jeffrey Fung, a pediatrician in Atlanta, Georgia, who specializes in child safety.
“The only way to get the temperature under control is to seal it off and make sure that no air is leaking out, so you don’t have to worry about air venting.
The way to do that is to have a seat cover on the front of the car,” he says.
If your child has a cracked vent, you can also try putting the seat belt in a zippered pouch or bag, or use a heat shield to shield the child from hot air.
The heat shield will prevent any air from escaping.
If the heat shield isn’t enough, you could try attaching the car seat to a heater, but Fung says that might be too much of a hassle.
If that doesn’t work, you should look for a heat-resistant, adjustable, or heated seat, such as a child’s car seat.
You can also replace the air vent with a vent in the center of the seat.
“If you have one of those, you don`t need a seat,” Fung advises.
“You just need to make a small adjustment on the seat and make it the right way to fit your child.
It might take a little adjustment, but it will be worth it.”
If you do decide to replace the seat, you might also want to make certain that the seat is fully inflated before removing the child’s child-safety seat.
If there are any air leaks in the seat’s vent, use a small spray bottle or hose to suck out the air.
Once the air is out, the vent should be sealed with a plastic or latex-based sealant.
If it’s not, you need to use another method.
To make sure you have enough sealant to seal the seat to prevent overheating, you may need to replace it.
If any of these problems aren’t addressed, it’s likely that your baby could get heat stroke, Fung explains.
“I wouldn’t recommend putting the baby in the baby carseat in the first place,” he advises.
But he advises keeping the seat in your car at all times, even if it means taking out the child safety seat.