2017 MamatheFox’s Back to School Giveaway

Welcome to the 2nd annual MamatheFox’s Back to School Giveaway

hosted by MamatheFox

Sponsors include: Wean Green, Momobaby, Gina’s Soft Cloth, I See Me! and Teach My

 

Are your kids ready for back to school?  Make sure to check out this great giveaway to help them along their way.

This years giveaway will have (1) winner, who will take home: (1) pair of MomoBaby Shoes (up to $54 value), (1) Kitchen Set from WeanGreen ($55 value), (2) Teach My Yoga Mat Sets ($50 value), I See Me My U.S.A. Road Trip Gift Set with Map ($50 value) and a set of reusable lunchbox napkins from Gina’s Soft Cloth!

This years prize is valued at over $200!

 

MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations.

Rocco Basile Interview

rocco

What is your favorite camera to shoot with and why?

 

I recently purchased a Zeiss E 24mm camera to add to my wide collection that includes Nikon D3400, Amy Toensing Canon 5D Mark III and my first DSLR camera, the 2004 Konica Minolta 7D. The latter came with an anti shake feature and produces high quality color in spite of its old age. The canon camera, on the other hand, is relatively small and features 22.3 MP 35mm full frame sensor. This camera has been a great companion in my travels and documentary work.

 

What is on your photography bucket list?

 

I have a very promising bucket list that I want to accomplish in the next few years. It reads as follows:

 

  • Watch hot tub monkeys in Nagano, Japan
  • Visit the Galapagos Island in Ecuador and take photos of the reptiles and islands in the region
  • Become part of the Rio grand Carnival in Brazil
  • Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  • Ride on the Orient Express from Asia to Europe
  • Go to India to visit the Taj Mahal and attend the magical Pushkar and Holi festivals
  • Drive across the US, from west coast to east coast on a classic Corvette car or other old car model.

 

When did you find your love for photography?

 

My love for photography began back in New York, where I grew up as a young man. The daily exposure to the daily subway commute and proximity to some of the world’s greatest art galleries and museums did it for me. Up to this date, I still have a vivid recollection of artistic culture and unique scenery in all of New York’s 5 boroughs. I am happy to note that my shoots have been featured in numerous international publications and galleries.

 

What inspires you most?

When I am confronted with the realism of nature, I always want to grab my camera and capture the idyllic and high handed environment around me. Being a fine art photographer, offers me a perfect opportunity to show the world a documentary visual account of compelling objects and events. I am also inspired by captivating shots from other great photographers.

 

What does a normal day look like for you?

 

Being a professional photographer can be tedious, but tremendously rewarding at the end of the day. I spend a lot of time organizing for a photo session because every shoot I take is unique in its own respect. The first step is setting up the location, timing and assessing how the light will play out. When I am behind the camera, I must also make sure my composition is properly set out. Once the shoot is done, I always make it a point to backup everything before post production or submission. Sometimes I am forced to work late in the night, depending on the demands of my clients. My day also entails reading and answering emails from clients, paying invoices, updating my portfolio and finally, organizing for the next shoot.

Does your family prepare for the unexpected?

Snowed in

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When it comes to our family if it can happen it will.  We have spent years with the unknown.   Growing up in California our family was always prepared for an earthquake.  We had everything you need from meals to flashlights stashed.  Luckily, we never had to use them but I always knew that if we needed them my dad was prepared.  Now that we live in Colorado earthquakes are really not a problem.  We did however add so many more things that could happen.  The winters here alone can be hard.

I have heard the horror stories of people that were trapped in their car during a storm.  Once I heard one of these stories the first thing I put together was a car emergency kit.  This is not your normal my battery died kit.  This kit is to make sure my family is ok if we get caught in the car.

What we have in our kit

  1. Blankets

Of course, to keep warm.

  1. Sustainable food

We keep a few meals in our car to make sure we won’t starve.  They have to be long lasting why                   would I want to throw away good food every time it expires.

  1. Flash lights

Of course, we want to see if it gets dark.  Also, great to shine out the window for help

  1. Water

I think this one explains its self. Lol

  1. Games

I keep a pack of cards and a few travel games in our car bag.  I want to keep my little guy calm and              have something to distract myself in case we are there for a while.

  1. Medications

If you family takes medications on a regular basis make sure to keep extra in the car, and if you have         little ones make sure you are stocked up on diapers and wipes for emergency’s.

7. Knife

This is in a protective case in the bag.  You never know when it will come in handy.  I have actually had to cut myself out of a seat belt after an accident before.

In our home, we do the same items in case we get snowed in.  We also add a few extras.  I like to add a few candles, and Battery’s for anything we may need. I also keep a fire safe lock box in the bag.  This box is filled with copies of all our important papers.   No matter what you put in your emergency kits make sure they are portable.  You never know if you are going to have to grab and go.  Making sure your family is safe should always be your number one priority.  Of course, we all hope that we never need these kits, but I feel a whole lot better knowing that if I do need them they are there.

What else would you add to your emergency kit?

Picture Credit

This was a collaborated post 

Mickey And The Roadster Racers

Disney Mickey DVD

Do you have a Mickey fan in the house?  If so get ready for a great new Mickey show Mickey and the Roadster Racers.   This great DVD has 6 episodes and a fun bonus episode for your kids to watch. The animation in this film was fantastic.  We had a blast watching mickey and his friends.  As a mom of a special needs kid who loves Micky and cars this was a must have for our house.  Disney Junior hit it out of the park with this collection.  I love that I can put this in and have a few mommy moments and my son is watching a cute cartoon that I can trust.

Disney Mickey DVD

Mickey and the Roadster Racers are back and cruising full speed towards fun adventures around the globe! MICKEY AND THE ROADSTER RACERS: START YOUR ENGINES will be zooming towards its Disney DVD debut on August 15th, and you will want to keep up with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy! Join Mickey and the Roadster Racers for the ride as they encounter the world’s best spy, compete in a hot-air balloon race, and even help the Queen with her stolen Royal Ruby! At the heart of MICKEY AND THE ROADSTER RACERS: START YOUR ENGINES is friendship, teamwork, and exciting adventures that will make you want to be a part of the gang!

Download Mickey And The Roadster Racers - Start Your Engines Activities

 

Mickey and His Pals Hit the Road in their Transforming Roadsters
Racing Around the Town of Hot Dog Hills AND Around the World!

 

MICKEY AND THE ROADSTER RACERS:

START YOUR ENGINES

 

Bring Home the Wild Adventures on Disney DVD August 15th

Includes a FREE Exclusive Roadster Racers Flag!

 

Synopsis: Mickey and the Roadster Racers are back with more fast-paced adventures on wheels!

 

Join your favorite characters – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy  – and their high-speed transforming Roadsters as they compete in thrilling races stretching from Hot Dog Hills to Hawaii…and all the way to London, England!  You’ll meet the world’s greatest spy, zoom through the skies in a revved up hot-air balloon race, and even return the Queen’s stolen Royal Ruby!  It’s all about great friendship, teamwork, a little competition and humorous high-spirited adventures!

 

Voice Cast: Bret Iwan as Mickey Mouse; Russi Taylor as Minnie Mouse; Bill Farmer as Goofy/Pluto; Daniel Ross as Donald Duckand Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck.

 

Executive Producer: Rob LaDuca

 

Co-Executive Producer and Supervising Story Editor: Mark Seidenberg

 

Episodes:                       Agent Double-O-Goof

                                        It’s Wiki Wiki Time

Ye Olde Royal Heist

Abra-ka-Goof!

Guru Goofy

Going Upppppppppp!

              

Bonus Episodes:            Goof Luck Charm

The Haunted Hot Rod

 

Release Date:               August 15, 2017

Ratings:                          TV-Y (US); G (CE/CF)

Total Run Time:              Approximately 88 minutes (including bonus episodes)

Aspect Ratio:                1.78:1 Widescreen (Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions)

Audio:                            2.0 Dolby Digital

Languages:                   English, French & Spanish

Subtitles:                        English SDH, French & Spanish

Easy Steps To Keep Your Home Trendy

Looking for some ideas to keep your home trendy? Each year, new colors and styles are rejuvenated. Keeping your house in style with the popular trends can be a job that never ends, especially if you enjoy entertaining. Explore the following five fresh trends in home design for 2017.

Indoor Garden Wall

Image via Flickr by Wicker Paradise

Bring your own garden inside your house and on your wall. Garden walls are great ways to bring some green into your living space without taking up any space at all.

Using special planters, you can cover the walls with a range of plants. These plants could be your standard garden variety, or if you prefer fresh herbs and spices when cooking, all the herbs and spices your heart desires. Garden walls are also great if you don’t have exterior spaces for a garden.

Decorative Back splashes

Back splashes are making a big comeback. Traditionally, back splashes appear in the kitchen behind the sink to protect your walls. Today, with the wide array of tile choices, back splashes are becoming a novel and functional way to spruce up your kitchen design. From different color tiles such as bright green to different designs such as white subway tile and custom designs, you can stretch your creative muscles and easily find something that fits with your home and style.

Return to Hardwood Flooring

Quiet reading area featuring Sonora color hardwood floor (Red Oak-Sonora)
For more information, visit www.miragefloors.com

Image via Flickr by Mirage floors

Gone are the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s when carpeting and tiling your home was all the rage. Hardwood floors are overtaking the flooring market now. With beautiful varieties bringing a certain warmth into your home, hardwood floors are the go-to choice to stay trendy.

Enhanced Climate Control Systems

When you want the best and most beautiful home, thinking outside the box will keep your designs timeless. A home not only needs to look beautiful, but it should also feel beautiful.

Zoned heating and cooling systems offer a popular way to handle heating and cooling your home in style. The benefits of these types of heating and cooling systems include cost savings and better distribution of heat or air conditioning throughout your home. Naturally, everyone has different preferences, including different comfort levels for different family members.

Coziness With Hygge

Image via Flickr by my little red suitcase

No, it’s not a spelling mistake. It’s the new Danish-inspired design trend taking the world by storm. Hygge, pronounced “hooga’,” translates to coziness, and everything about this style is certainly cozy. When you see some pictures of hygge style in action, you’ll want redo your home just so you can grab a book and disappear into pure bliss. Think blankets, candles, and fires crackling in fireplaces in your living room. Think warm cups of cocoa and big wool jerseys.

Indoor gardens, cool kitchen back splashes, a return to hardwood flooring, zoned heating and cooling systems, and the glories of hygge: We hope this overview of fresh trends in home design have inspired you. We would love to hear your thoughts, so leave some comments below.

4 tips for making the most of warmer weather

 

Warm weather

Picture Credit 

Making the most of the warm weather is one of the most satisfying joys of life. There are few things that are more pleasant than waking up to a sunny day. It has even been suggested that the sun can help you to feel more positive and to be full of energy. It would be a shame if anything interfered with your enjoyment of the sunshine. However, the side effects of extreme heat levels can do this. That is why it is so important to be prepared for the warmer months. Below are four tips for making the most of warmer weather.

Dress right

One of the best ways to stay cool and calm in warm weather is by making sure that you dress appropriately. Consider separating your wardrobe into two sections: warm weather and cold weather. This will help you to ensure that you aren’t wearing items that are too heavy to be suitable for the sun. Dressing for the heat doesn’t have to involve baring more skin than you’re comfortable with. If you still prefer to be covered up, there are plenty of light and flowy fabrics that will help you to stay cool.

Control your seasonal allergies

The warm weather marks the start of allergy season. This can be a nightmare for anyone who loves spending time in the great outdoors but hates the side effects of having allergies. Don’t let your allergies get in the way of you enjoying the perfect spring and summer months. You can read more online about how exactly you can manage your allergies. This will allow you to fully embrace the warm weather and not feel as though you have to hold back because of your symptoms. Allergies shouldn’t be something that you just have to put up with. They are entirely manageable, you just have to know what to do!

Keep exercising

On a roasting hot day, the last thing you may feel like doing is exercise. However, the right kind of exercise can help you to stay relaxed and healthy during the warmer months. Swimming is an obvious choice as it is the perfect way to cool down. You could also try aqua aerobics. Yoga and meditation are also great options, as they are often enjoyed in the world’s hottest countries. They will also help you to control your breathing and will prevent you from becoming light headed in the heat.

Prevent sweating

One of the worst parts of dealing with hot weather is the possibility of sweating. It doesn’t matter how good a mood you are in, being sweaty is sure to leave you feeling dirty and unglamorous. Make sure to stock up on antiperspirant and deodorants. You can even buy antiperspirants that you can put on the night before and will last you the following day. You could also try natural remedies for sweating. This is often the more cost effective method and will help to protect your skin.

How to Create a Modern Master Bedroom

 

 

Master Bedroom

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Modern interior design focuses on simple, functional and clean lines, which allows the homeowner to enjoy a stylish and practical space. Read our top tips on how to create a master bedroom that oozes contemporary style.

Form Follows Function

The “form follows function” concept was created by the modernism movement. It basically means a piece of furniture or space within a building is viewed as the most important element, not its aesthetics. It’s not saying that modern style is necessarily ugly, but it is more about clean lines and open space over decoration.

Neutral Color Schemes

Modern color schemes tend to lean more towards neutral shades. Think black, white, gray, brown, tan and cream. Yet, they can also incorporate accents of blue, red or yellow. It’s a mature style that lends itself well to a master bedroom’s interior design.

Natural Materials

Many modern master bedrooms incorporate natural materials, which again follows form over function. It is an effective way to create a focal point within a room without interfering with a unified design.

Bright Accents

Many people make the mistake of associating modern design with cold, lifeless décor. Yet, it doesn’t have to be. It is possible to use bursts of bright colors to burst life into a master bedroom. Some of the most popular accent colors to brighten up a space include red and orange. Yet, any color that suits your taste can often complement a white space when incorporated into a beautiful work of art.

Raised Furniture

Modernism brings long legs and clean, contemporary furniture to your bedroom’s décor. For example, Modloft produce high-quality, contemporary urban furniture at reasonable prices, meaning you can create an open and luxurious bedroom with raised beds, dressers and nightstands. To achieve a modern, minimalistic master bedroom, you must provide continuity through simplistic but grand design. Raised furniture allows you to be unique in your furniture, without your bedroom becoming excessive.  

Polished Surfaces

Modern bedrooms tend to focus on shiny, smooth surfaces. Try to incorporate polished floors, as well as polished or lacquered furniture. Chrome and glass accents can also add to the clean style that is synonymous with modern style.

Add a Subtle Focal Point

Modern design focuses on neutral colors, simple lines and a lack of accessories. That’s why you must add a little interest to a space by creating a subtle focal point, whether it is by hanging unique artwork on the wall or an unusual light fitting that will grab the attention of both you and your visitors.

An Open and Airy Atmosphere

To create a contemporary style within your master bedroom, you must aim to create an open and airy environment. For instance, aim to expose as much natural light into the room, while opening the windows to allow in fresh air and add houseplants to create a calm, tranquil space.

Do you have any helpful advice for creating a modern master bedroom? Share your top tips in the comment section below.

The 5 cs of buying an engagement ring

 

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Legend has it that in 1477, Austrian Archduke Maximilian gave his bride to be, Mary of Burgundy, a diamond ring to celebrate their engagement. He chose the third finger of her left hand because the ancient Egyptians believed that it has a vein that goes straight to the heart.

Whether your partner has waited to hear your response before ring shopping; or perhaps you are about to pop the big question, and want to be prepared with a beautiful ring; you need to read up on how to choose the perfect engagement ring. Traditionally, at least a month’s salary is used to buy the ring, and as a permanent symbol of the most important relationship of your life, you need to get it right!

Not only do you need to get the size right for the ring, but there is also a vast selection of options available to you. Here are the 5 Cs to help you buy the perfect engagement ring.

  1. Cut

The cut of the diamond or gemstone is terribly important, and it has the greatest influence on its sparkle. A diamond or gemstone can be of the most perfect clarity and have the most beautiful color, but a badly cut diamond or gemstone can make it seem dull. Being well-cut means that light is reflected through the top.

  1. Color

After the sparkle of a diamond, the next thing that is noticed is its color. If the diamond lacks color, then the higher the grade. You can choose a ring with a gemstone that is enhanced by the supporting diamonds, for example, if your intended’s birthday is in July which has ruby as its birthstone, unforgettable ruby engagement rings can add an extra level of thoughtfulness and romance.

  1. Carat

People usually think that the carat refers to the size of the diamond or gemstone, but it actually refers to its weight. You need to think of the cut and carat together, as a high carat diamond or gemstone of a low-cut grade can appear smaller than a lower carat that has been cut well. Consider buying rings that are slightly below the whole or half a carat to maximize your budget.  

  1. Clarity

The majority of diamonds and gemstones have imperfections that are called inclusions. The fewer and less visible imperfections there are increases the grade; however, to make your budget go further do not be afraid of considering diamonds with inclusions as they are often microscopic and do not affect the beauty of the ring. These are called ‘eye clean’.

  1. Cost

Ordinarily, buying diamond rings are considered by the ‘4 Cs’; however, cost has to be the most influencing factor. Calculate a budget: as mentioned, a month’s salary has been the tradition, but this is to be a permanent feature on your other half’s finger, so you may want to save up to add more to your budget. You know your finances, and it is important that while you may want to get the most impressive ring possible, you do not want to get into unnecessary debt. The money that you save can be used for the wedding, or even the honeymoon.

Preparing For An Outdoor Party At Your House

Entertaining at home is a great way to show off your space and have fun with the people who you enjoy being around. Try not to stress yourself out or feel overwhelmed by the process. Take it one step at a time and be sure to plan ahead.

There’s a lot to think about when prepping for a party. Make lists and get excited about how wonderful of an event it will be if you’re properly organized. Remember to have fun during the planning phase and make decisions based on what you think will be best. See how to prepare for an outdoor party.  

Guest List

Start by making a guest list and outlining how many people you want to have at your party. Consider the amount of space you’re working with and the purpose of the event. Write down names and then start adding or subtracting based on your own discretion. Ask yourself why you’re inviting particular people and if you think they’ll be enjoyable on the day of the party. Don’t invite someone just because you think you have to. You’ll regret it when it comes time to host the party. Think about how large you want the gathering to be, and remember you’re going to have to feed everyone too. Decide if kids will be invited or if it’s an adult only celebration. Go over the list with your spouse or close friend and make sure it’s where you want it before you start sending out invitations.

Invitations

Come up with a party theme and design the invitations around the main focus. Print them off or go online and create your own. This is your chance to win people over with your festive invitations. Let the invites reflect what a great time it’s going to be and that they’ll be missing out if they aren’t able to attend. Choose attractive colors, images and fonts to get your message across. Take your time designing them and coming up with the right language to catch their attention. Remember to include all of the important details like date, time and location. Let guests know how to RSVP to your party, so you know how many people will be coming and eating. Call them up individually if you don’t hear from them to confirm if they’re attending or not. This will help you plan the meal and any activities.

Location

Walk around your yard and think about where you want the party to take place. If you have a patio or deck, it’s a great spot to have everyone gather when they first arrive. Maybe place a tent out in your backyard for serving the food and shading people from the sun or rain. Decide where you want people to gather and place the drinks and bar nearby. Also, check your outdoors for any pests or mosquitos. If you see any signs of pests around your home or lawn, call the professionals at Lake Norman pest control who specialize in this line of work and will be able to help you eliminate them. You don’t have to live with hornets or have uncontrollable weeds popping up everywhere. It’s important you speak with a technician who can pinpoint the problem area and rid your home of these pests.

Seating

It’s important to have enough chairs and seating when throwing a party. It’s easy to forget this when you’re planning and looking outside your window. You think you have plenty because there’s enough for your family. Recall how many people you invited and where they’re all going to go. Not everyone’s going to want to sit, but you should plan to have enough for most of the people. You can rent chairs from a company if necessary or borrow from the neighbors. Put down blankets in your yard if it’s more of a casual setting where guests can relax. Use your indoor furniture for extra seating options. When combining these ideas, you should have more than enough to please everyone.

Menu & Drinks

The best part of any party are the food and drink selections. Decide if you’re going to cater the event or try to cook a meal. Grilling is a great option for an outdoor gathering. Buffets offer lots of options and feed a large amount of people too. Calculate the amount of people you’ll be feeding from your RSVPs. Always have more than enough food in case people want seconds, or more guests show up than what you expected. The last situation you want is to be short on food. Provide a mix of drink options suitable for anyone’s taste. Serve guests their first drink and then let them serve themselves after that if you prefer. Keep the coolers full and the food warm. No one will complain or be unhappy if they’re well fed, and the drinks are flowing.

Decorations

Use your party as a chance to decorate your home in style. Buy decorations based on the theme. Put some in your kitchen and back door area leading to the backyard. Include décor on your back patio and throughout your backyard. Buy items people can wear like sunglasses and necklaces or that they can decorate their drinking glasses with like a fun umbrella. Guests will love the festive ambiance. Include lighting options for when it gets dark. String lights along the deck, use tea lights and hurricane lanterns for an extra spark. You’ll want to be able to see each other and still enjoy the party when it gets dark. Get creative and make your backyard look like there’s a party going on.

Activities & Entertainment

Every party needs to have a few activities, games or entertainment. What you do all depends on the type of party you’re throwing. Some ideas include a volleyball game, hiring a band or comedian and setting up an obstacle course for adults. Come up with solutions that’ll get people talking and laughing. You want guests to feel relaxed and comfortable. It’s not necessary to force anyone to participate, but have options in case there are those who want to join in. Having an activity is nice when the party gets dull, or the energy is low. Tell everyone just to have fun and let loose. Give them an incentive to play by having nice prizes for the winners.

Music

It’s important to have your playlist lined up well ahead of time. Come up with tracks you know will be a hit with the group of people you’re with at the time. Stick to classics and plan to have a playlist going for at least five hours. Start running it from the beginning of the party and play it at a level so you can hear it, but that you’re still able to have conversations. Avoid cranking the speakers and interrupting the flow of people talking. If you want the music to be a bigger part of the event, hire a local band to play for your guests. They’ll love the live entertainment and probably spend part of the evening dancing. No matter which way you go, the point is to have music present and give the party a good vibe from the start.

Pictures

You’re going to want lots of pictures from your gathering. If you don’t want to be messing with it during the evening, hire a professional photographer to come and take the pictures for you. It’ll be worth the money, so you don’t have to take time away from the night to attend to the task. Otherwise, if you don’t mind taking the time to snap shots with your phone or ask a friend to help you out. Get a few action shots of guests and pictures of the décor and party setup. They won’t mind once they’ve had a few drinks and are enjoying themselves. It’ll be fun to look at the photos the next day and see your successful event in action. You’ll want the memories and be able to use the images to remember how to throw a party.

Cleanup

Enjoy your party as it’s going on and don’t worry so much about the mess. Pick up items as you walk around and mingle, but don’t let it be the focus on your night. You deserve to have fun after you planned all of the details. If you’re feeling awake, clean up a little bit after all of the guests have left. Avoid cleaning up in front of people, so it doesn’t look like you’re kicking them out of your home. Do what you can and then get some rest. You’ll be able to finish the remainder in the morning when you’re more refreshed.  

Conclusion

Don’t panic if you become the party host. Make a plan and adhere to your multiple lists. Give yourself a chance to throw a successful event and impress your guests. It takes practice, so the more you do it, the easier it becomes. This is how to prepare for an outdoor party at your house.

Do You Know How to Keep Your Kid Safe in the Car

Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of mortality for children under 18. But the risk of accidents can be greatly reduced if you apply a few safety precautions. In this article, we’ll outline some general principles on how to keep your children safe and how to apply this advice with children of all ages

Safe and Secure

Parents know that their infants need to be in a car seat. Instead of agonizing over figuring out how to install the car seat, ask a mechanic or a police officer/EMT at a public session to verify it is installed correctly. However, this is only a start.

Model proper behavior for your children by always wearing your own seat belt instead of only reminding them that seat belts keep them safe. Get in the habit of strapping your children into the car seat first so that you give it your full attention first and foremost instead of strapping yourself in and trying to strap in the child while reaching around the driver’s seat. And, the child’s car seat should always be in the back of the car. Your child shouldn’t be sitting up front until they hit middle school. This is a necessity because front dashboard airbags are designed to hit adults; they can kill an infant in a car seat, and won’t work as designed for a four year old.

Don’t leave your child in a horizontal car seat if they are starting to sit up. Move the car seat into a vertical position. Ensure that the straps fit properly around the child, not so loose that they don’t secure the child in an accident nor so tight it impeded breathing. As your children get older, teach them not to play with the strap. The common game of seeing how much slack they can get out of the shoulder belt leaves it unable to restrain them properly during a car accident, while opening and closing buckles out of boredom leaves them completely unprotected.

You should teach older toddlers not to open the car seat latch, but for younger infants and toddlers the best solution is a good set of toys in the back to keep them otherwise engaged. As your child grows, switch from an infant car seat to a booster seat. Booster seats are legally required in a number of states until a set age or weight threshold is reached. Know the rules for your jurisdiction to avoid getting a ticket.

Many cars have “child locks” such that you can choose to lock the car from the inside, but retain the ability to open it from the outside. This prevents a preschooler from opening the door and tumbling out, whether the car is moving or at a stop. You may need to flip the switch built into the door to engage the child lock.

When you are riding in someone else’s car, take your child’s car seat or booster seat. It isn’t safe to take all these precautions in your own vehicle and then ignore them altogether when you’re relying on someone else to drive.

Another variation of this theme is keeping things secure in the vehicle. Put cups in cup-holders when you’re driving. Give young children sippy cups instead of being worried about spills. Have school aged children secure backpacks and sports gear in storage nets in the trunk instead of stacking them up around the kids in the back seat. Then there’s the fact that loose items could become dangerous projectiles if you slam on the brakes hard or get in a wreck. Heavy items need to be secured in the trunk, or at worst, in the footwell of the car. They shouldn’t be sitting loose in the back seat where they could hit your passenger in the front seat if you’re in an accident.

Say No to Angry and Distracted Driving

Parents know not to drive drunk. Just as distracting is angry driving. Two children fighting in the back seat is as distracting as checking a cell phone while driving. If you’re angry and yelling or constantly looking back at what the children are doing, you aren’t paying attention to the road. It is safer to pull over and discipline the children than try to police them from the front seat while driving. (And yes, you can get a ticket for this from the police if they see you aren’t giving the road your attention.) Don’t try to drive with a screaming hungry baby in the back. Pull over and feed the baby.

When your teen is learning how to drive, limit them to only driving with a family member or one peer in the vehicle with them. For every friend who joins them in the car, the risk of an accident goes up ten to twenty percent. The more friends there are in the car, the more distracted the driver. Also set ground rules that there is to be no horseplay when people are in your car. An adult can get in a wreck when hit in the back of the head by a child’s toy; the odds it will happen if your teenager is tugged or slapped while driving is even greater.

Teach your children never to text and drive. This includes not taking a selfie unless you’re safely pulled over. Set the example by not answering the phone while driving unless the phone can be answered via a voice command to the car infotainment system. If your child is involved in a car accident in Baton Rouge and texting while driving is at fault, you’ll have no choice but to work with a reputable car wreck attorney Baton Rouge or you might expose yourself to severe litigation.

If your child is found to be engaged in distracted driving, enforce hard limits and strong consequences like taking away the keys for two weeks or longer. The inconvenience may lead to whining, but you’ll feel far worse if your college student keeps up this habit and lands in the hospital.

No, You Can’t Wait in the Car

Never leave a sleeping infant alone in a car. You may assume that you’ll be back in a few minutes and that disturbing the sleeping child is worse than leaving them in the car. However, this leads to risk of your child becoming too hot or feeling unwell. You also risk charges of child endangerment if someone reports a baby or toddler left alone in a car.

Children may ask not to have to go into the post office or the grocery store while you’re running errands. The answer should be no. Leaving a car running so that the vehicle is air conditioned leaves it an ideal target for would-be thieves. Teenagers may be able to stay in a vehicle unattended, but they need to keep the doors locked whether or not the vehicle is running.

Here Comes the Bus

Many parents pick up their child from the bus stop to ferry them to other activities. Always stay at least fifteen feet back from the stopped vehicle. Never try to go around the stopped bus, nor should you try to drive through a line of children entering or exiting the bus. When your children are trying to board the bus in the morning, make certain they wait until your vehicle has stopped before they try to get out of the car and run to the bus. Teach them to look both ways before exiting the vehicle, and inform them that if they are late for the bus, you’ll drive them yourself. Also tell your children never to accept a ride from a stranger.

For teenagers, the temptation to ride in a friend’s car is strong. Set strong consequences if your teenager gets in the car with a friend without permission or rides in a vehicle driven by someone without permission. A 15 year old driving a car without the parents’ knowledge is a dangerous driver, and your child getting in the vehicle is now a distraction for that inexperienced driver.

Staying Safe around Vehicles

Don’t forget to teach your children about proper safety around cars themselves. Cars are not friends. Big cars don’t see little children. You cannot stand in the street and hold up a hand and stop every vehicle. The trunk is never, ever an acceptable hiding place during hide and seek.

Conclusion

If you want to insure your children’s safety, teach them to secure themselves in their seats and secure loose items that become a hazard when the car comes to a hard stop. Model proper behavior by not engaging in angry or distracted driving and give your teens hard consequences if they do it. Don’t let young children wait in the car, and teach your children proper behavior around school buses, both when getting on and off the bus to walk home and when leaving your vehicle to get on the bus. Teach your children to stay out of the car unless the family is getting into the vehicle, and finally, don’t leave your children alone in the car.