Most parents dread planning road trips with a baby and toddler as it can be a daunting task as you need to consider several things when traveling with young children. These include keeping them content while on the road, what to do when they cry throughout the journey and ensuring the family arrives safe and sane to the destination.
Here are some helpful tips when traveling with young children to ensure a smooth ride for everyone.
Condition Your Car
It’s common sense that you will be spending a lot of time in the car during the road trip, so you should ensure it’s in the best shape possible for you and your kids’ safety. Several things can happen on the road, so don’t shrug it off. Don’t wait until you get stranded in the middle of nowhere with an overheated engine and have your Subaru’s cylinder head gasket replaced or until you encounter a downpour to find out its windshield wipers need fixing.
Make Use of Car Seats
Car seats are ideal for babies and small children. It helps them stay strapped in during the journey since regular adult seatbelts can’t fit their bodies, making them prone to injuries during a crash. Let them use car seats until they reach the age of 12 or reach a height of 149 cm (4 ft 9 inches), which is the height at which people can safely use a seat belt.
Never Forget the Seatbelts
After securing their car seats, ensure to strap them in securely with their seatbelts to protect them during an accident. Wearing seatbelts have been proven from time to time to save lives, with the simple mechanism saving over 15,000 lives in 2016 alone. It’s also wise to wear your own seatbelt to let kids know it’s the right thing to do, and it’s crucial for their safety.
Remember that Backseats Are for Kids
It’s wise to let younger children or kids less than ten years old ride on the backseat of the car with their straps buckled in, protecting them from sudden jerks in case of an emergency. So let your kids occupy the whole back seat and have a blast. Moreover, several countries have laws restricting children from occupying the front seats in a car, so abide by your nation’s law and be safe. ;
Childproof safety locks are built into most vehicles’ rear doors to prevent children from opening the doors while the car is moving or stationary. Ensure these are securely locked before embarking on your journey to give you peace of mind and keep your kids safe.
Don’t Neglect the Toys
Although it may seem like the main priority in every road trip is keeping your child happy and entertained, it can be an unsafe order if you’re the one behind the wheel. You can make your driving distraction-free and safe by giving your kids toys, books, snacks, and their favorite gadgets within their reach. The more they can do themselves, the happier and safer all the passengers can be.
Talk With Your Kids
Having small chats with your kids while on the road is a great way to keep them engaged and happy without distracting the driver. You can do this by discussing the surroundings, talking about your destination, or singing along with their favorite rhymes.
Contrary to what most parents believe, road trips with your kids don’t have to be a complete nightmare, especially when you follow the tips mentioned to stay safe, enjoy the time with your family—and keep your sanity intact.