With summer on the way, it’s time to start thinking about your next vacation and we all know that during long rides with kids, their emotions can range from excitement to irritability. That’s why it’s best to have a plan in place before heading out on your next adventure.
If you're preparing for road trips with children this summer, here are some tips and a checklist to keep everyone happy and safe inside the car.
Choose The Right Car Seat & Know How To Install It Properly
Did you know that car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13? This is why it's so important to have and use the right car seat correctly every time your child is in the car, even if you are just taking a short trip.
Make sure you select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions. You should also check that your car seat is compatible with your vehicle by checking the car seat and vehicle instructions. And even after your child is no longer in a car seat, make sure to keep them in the back seat at least through age 12. If you want to find out more; check out NHTSA’s car seat recommendations.
What If You Rent A Car?
Car rental companies usually have the option of adding child car seats to your reservation if you can’t or don’t want to take your own seat with you on the plane. But even though this is just temporary, it’s still important to ensure your child is in the right seat and that the seat is properly installed before you head out. Refer to the car seat manual and vehicle’s instruction manual for more information on how to properly install the seat.
You can also find out more about installing your child’s seat and check out videos at NHTSA.
Mess-Free Car Snacks & Games
Magnetic Car Games
Always take games in magnetic and travel-size boards, they are easy to use and you avoid getting little pieces lost in your car.
Drawing and Coloring
Allow your child to be creative and do some drawing on the move. Buy drawing apps or get illustration books with washable pens to rule out the possibility of permanent marks on the interior of your car.
Snacking and eating in the car
Recycle your coffee cups and place your napkins inside. Make sure to pack multiple healthy and sweet snacks on the go in resealable plastic bags to keep travel with kids as stress-free as possible.
Check these things off your list on your next family road trip
- Your cell phone and tablet
- Multiple chargers
- Books, magazines and comics
- Water Bottles
- First Aid Kit
- A spare set of keys or two
- Headphones for the whole family
- A map (Just in case your cell phone battery dies)
- A fun music playlist for the road
- Board games (If you are planning to pack any games to play in the car choose the magnetic versionsif you can)
- Wipes and tissues
- Sketchbook and washable markers
- Garbage bags
- A handy bag with extra diapers, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, and a change of clothes for your kids.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children under 13. Make sure your child is in #TheRightSeat at: NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat