Friday 3 June 2016

Bringing newborns home safely

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The day I brought Ethan home for the first time, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. I was high on adrenaline, painkillers and love for my little bundle and I remember feeling excited and anxious to get home.

As quick as I could. And safely. 

I remember checking the car seat again and again to make sure it was secure and being overly cautious when fixing the straps around my tiny baby boy.

Ethan slept for the whole journey and I think my in-laws have never driven so slowly and surely. Precious cargo on board!

Then, in the early days of venturing out of the house to get some air or do a spot of shopping, always checking and checking again that we had everything and that his car seat was secure.

I remember having a mini breakdown in a car park because I couldn't take the travel system apart to put him back in the car. Oh my gosh, I got in a right panic!

I've never known a lot about cars or been that conscious about maintaining them. I've always had new cars and just presume things will be ok. But through work, year after year I've been clocking up the miles and I've realised that with Ethan as a VIP (very important passenger) I need to be much more aware of checking my car and maintaining it regularly.

Particularly when it comes to tyres. I've had quite a few things happen in the past year or two with mine and it does get you thinking.

First, I was in Essex for work. The wrong side of pay day, I must have run over glass on a country road as soon the puncture light was flashing on the dashboard and I had to quickly get to a safe place to stop. 170 miles and four hours from home. No spare tyre. 

The second tyre related issue was my friend noticing that my front treads were worn very thinly in places. I simply hadn't been keeping an eye on them and they had worn lower that the recommended depth. I drove home slower than usual and booked my car in to have them changed asap. I couldn't risk having a breakdown again, not least if Ethan were to be in the car.

The most recent incident, and one I need to check out, is how I seem to have a slow release puncture on one of my rear tyres. It's been losing pressure for a while now, every couple of hundred miles flashing to say I need to adjust the tyre pressure.

I'm not the only one who neglects their tyres. According to Point-S car tyres, around 700,000 newborns will make their first car journey, from hospital to home, this year - as many as one in four of these babies may travel home on illegal tyres.

 If you're about to bring a newborn home for the first time, it's one check to add to your list before you do.

There's always something to sort or something more exciting to address but really, if you drive a car and even more so if you have a little one, you have to do regular checks and keep your car and tyres in good condition.

To save money, avoid inconvenience and most importantly, be safe.

Follow the Point-S campaign, 'Bringing Newborns Home Safely', and find out how to check the tread of your tyres here.

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