Regardless of whether you are a parent or not, you’ll find yourself having kids in your wrangler, and you have to prepare yourself for that since having kids in your car can be tricky for some owners. So that’s why in this article we’re gonna see, How to make your Jeep wrangler safe for kids?
Whether you have an adult company together with the kids or you are a solo driver, it’s never easy to constantly monitor kids’ behavior even if you try doing so, you will end up getting tired and leaving them to do whatever they want.
Childproofing your car is not mainly for child safety purposes but also for other occupants’ safety. It ensures that they do not cause damage to any components in the cabin. So how do you go about it?
How to ensure child safety when there are kids in your wrangler?
- Never carry kids in the front passenger seat
This is something that most car owners don’t adhere to. Regardless of the distance, you are traveling, never carry a child in your front passenger seat. Never do it, whether it is a short drive to school or a long drive upcountry. This is because of the following reasons.
Most car manufacturers, Jeep included, make their airbags to protect passengers who are at least 5 feet tall and weigh a minimum of 150 pounds. Most kids do not fit in that bracket, so when the airbag is deployed in case of an accident, the impact can lift the child off the seat, and they will hit the roof.
The airbag deploys instantly upon impact, which can cause injuries to the head and the chest of light kids. If a child still wants to sit on the front seat, ensure you have a booster seat for them and also ensure that they have their safety belt on at all times.
But only do this if the child is around 13 years old and near the recommended weight and height to sit in the front seat. If it is unavoidable that a kid cannot sit in the rear seat, the onboard computer will turn off the front passenger’s seat airbag if the kid does not meet the weight requirements.
In some states, you can receive a ticket for having a child in the front seat and does not meet the requirements to be in the front seat. Another reason why you’re not supposed to carry kids in the front seat is that they act as a distraction to the driver.
They might play around with something that will distract the driver. This mostly ends with the driver shifting attention to whatever the child is doing rather than maintaining attention on the road.
When this happens, the probability of the driver losing control of the vehicle is high, and it ends up mainly in an accident. You might want to put a baby seat in the front seat, but it is recommended that you don’t and have it in the rear seats only.
- Ensure the child lock is engaged when there are kids in the car
Child window and door locks come standard in all Jeep wranglers. These features prevent kids from opening the windows and doors, which is the worst thing they can ever door while riding in your wrangler. You have to know the location of such features and engage the child’s door lock and window lock.
For wranglers with window controls on each door, they can all be controlled from the driver’s door switched, and they can also be locked from there. You can choose to close all the windows, the front windows, or the rear windows only, depending on where the kids are seated.
However, most wranglers do not have window controls on the doors since they are removable, and switching them will compromise door removal and installation. Jeep wranglers also have child door locks located on the edge of the door somewhere in the middle.
There is a keyhole that you use the emergency key to lock and unlock the child lock. You turn the key to match the lock or unlock icon. When locked, the kids cannot open the door from inside.
The door can only be opened from the outside. In case of an emergency, roll down the rear windows so that the doors can be unlocked from outside if an adult is in the back seats, or the kid can do that.
- Have child seats in your wrangler
The rear seats are best suitable for kids since there is nothing that they can tamper with that can distract the driver. You can have the kids seated on the seats or in baby seats attached to the seats. But these depend on the kids’ age as you cannot put older kids with baby seats.
Baby seats are designed to keep the kids in the seats. They have limited movement outside their seats. This ensures that they cannot reach for the door handles or window controls, but these can be locked just to be safe.
You may wonder which child seats are safer between front-facing and rear-facing child seats. Rear-facing child seats are safer than front-facing child seats because the entire body is cradled up on the back shell of the seat.
In front-facing child seats, the neck and the head are pulled forward as the wrangler accelerates, causing discomfort to the kid. In case of an accident, the rear-facing child seats are also safer because of the same reasons.
However, most people prefer front-facing child seats to monitor the kid, especially if there is no adult in the rear seat. For older kids who cannot fit in child seats, ensure that they have the seat belts on always while in the wrangler
- Never leave kids in your wrangler unattended
When fueling or having a quick stopover at a convenience store, never leave kids in your wrangler unattended for the following reasons. Kids get easily bored when in stationary vehicles, so they tend to look for a distraction, and they might end up messing around with something in the car.
The worst you can do is leave the car keys in the wrangler, maybe because the kids wanted to listen to some music. Always have your car keys on you or somewhere out of child reach.
There is a risk of heat stroke, especially during the summer when the temperatures are high. You can leave something essential such as your mobile phone, purse, or wallet together with the kids in the rear seats.
When you remember to carry them, you also remember to take the kids with you. Never leave kids in the wrangler, even if they are sleeping. If you are leaving kids in your wrangler, ensure there is an adult company in case of anything.
- Secure all loose items in your wrangler’s cabin
Kids tend to play with and throw around every item they lay their hands on. If you have cleaning items, tools, or anything else that is not supposed to be in the cabin, store it away in the trunk if you have to keep it in the wrangler.
But this is not enough for kids as they quickly get bored. Find them something distractive such as kids’ books, small toys, or some kid sing-along music that they will be hooked on. If you are making long trips, you can have screens behind the front seats to keep the kids entertained.
- Minimize letting kids eat in your wrangler
Kids eating in your wrangler is inevitable but do not let them eat continuously. Keep the snacks with you or somewhere else out of reach and only feed them whenever necessary and in small bits. It is also advisable to let them eat when you have stopped.
Road bumps might cause kids to choke on whatever they are eating or drinking, and you’ll have trouble controlling the car while checking on them, especially if you are on busy roads.
- Keep an eye on your kids while you drive
When driving, always check on your kids through the rearview mirror regularly, as you cannot continuously check on them. If you have adult company, the better as your eyes will always be on the road as the other adult focuses on the kids.
Do not fully close the windows unless it is snowing or raining for air regulation in the cabin. If it is too cold, set the AC to a favorable temperature for all occupants in the wrangler, including the kids.
- Protecting other passengers and the wrangler’s interior
Child protection methods aren’t there to protect only the kids but also other occupants in the wrangler and the wrangler’s cabin itself. If you are already a parent and want to buy a jeep wrangler, buy one with a darker interior. Dark interiors are easier to clean and maintain than brighter interiors.
If your wrangler has a bright interior, consider doing some upholstery, especially on the seats and the doormats. You can remove the factory seat covers and doormats, replace them with aftermarket darker interiors, or add seat covers and replace the floor mats only.
Kids are inevitable passengers whether you are a parent or not. You should always be prepared if you know you will have them in your wrangler. If you are not a parent, having toys or baby seats is not compulsory as you’ll not be using them constantly. Ensure the child locks and safety belts are in good condition before allowing kids in your wrangler.
If you are a parent, buy child seats according to the age of your kids and ensure you clip them on correctly on the fixation points on the seats. There are also safety harnesses on child seats that keep the kids in the seat. Ensure they are functional before fixing the seats.
It is recommended to have some cleaning equipment in your wrangler to clean off messes that kids make if they eat in your wrangler, which, as said earlier, is inevitable. Ensure you have a full view of the rear seats from the rearview mirror and make stops to check on the kids if you are driving for long distances