Driving with children on board is very different from driving without them.
When we were teenagers, we may have had our own shares of reckless driving just for the thrill of it. But now that we’re parents, our children’s safety always comes first.
Whether we’re taking our kiddos for a short shopping trip to the neighborhood grocery store or travelling several miles to our parents or in-laws, it’s extremely important that they are both safe and comfortable. So, put together a car safety kit so you’re ready for the little bumps in the road.
It’s very important that your children are buckled down for the ride no matter the duration.
Your kids’ car seats will vary and should match their age and legal requirements. In Oregon, a rear-facing seat is required for 1-year-olds and those under 20 lbs, and a booster seat for children less than 8 years old or shorter than 4’9″ and more than 40 lbs.
Car seats and safety belts are essential for lowering the risk of injury of your little passengers. Have them always buckle up before starting the engine. Let them know you mean business and don’t start driving unless they do what you tell them to.
Even when driving for only short distances, car seats and seatbelts are important because they lower the risk of injury if an accident occurred.
The problem with rear facing seats is how difficult it can be to watch your baby. Turning around to check on the little one is definitely a no-no as it could cause an accident. The best way to solve this problem is to use a baby safe mirror.
For instance, this mirror is attached to the rear seat headrest. You can view your baby through this mirror via the rear view mirror. No need to turn around. Phew!
Children have short attention span. So to keep them occupied for the ride, give them very soft toys. This could be a cloth book, a stuffed toy, or any other plushies.
Giving them soft toys also minimizes the risk of them getting hurt by something hard or sharp, even in the case of minor accidents. In this line, remember to keep all other stuff that may hurt your children, like a full shopping bag, in the trunk.
Make sure to have water and some snacks available in the car, even when you’re only going for a short drive. This will eliminate the need to stop by a store to purchase these when your kids get hungry or thirsty.
You never know when you’ll need to call the police, an ambulance or your pediatrician. So it would help if you had a copy of emergency phone numbers laminated and tucked away or displayed in your car.
Whether using an app or the tangible version, a road map is especially useful when driving through unfamiliar places.
An emergency can strike when we least expect it. Be prepared with an emergency kit stashed in the trunk or beneath the back seat. This is especially useful in when travelling for long distances.
The exact contents of your emergency kit may vary but, according to TheSurvivalMom, it should basically include:
– A whistle – so you can ask for help in case you get stuck in the wilderness, somewhere deserted, or a place with no phone reception.
– Cash or coins – to pay for gas, food or accommodation when ATMs are hard to find.
– Disposable camera – to document a car accident.
Despite child-proofing your car and prepping for any eventuality, you really can’t tell when your kids will get scratches or scrapes. Having a first aid kit ready in your car eliminates unnecessary trips back to the house.
My husband believes in having his own toolkit so he would be able to fix minor issues with the vehicle. Toolkits-in-a-pouch types are available and very convenient.
Fires in your car can start for a number of reasons, like an overheating engine or faulty electrical wiring. But whatever it is, be prepared with a handy car fire extinguisher.
These are all the things that we believe you should have in your car to make you and your children safe at all times whether you’re driving near or far.
Do you have other car safety must-haves to add to the list? Share them in the comments below or start a discussion over at our Facebook page.