Travelling in the car alone with the kids is not always easy, especially if it’s a long distance trip and you’re trying to keep the kids occupied while making sure you get from A to B safely.
Imperial Auto suggest the following helpful tips for mums on the go with the little ones:
- Safety first – In South Africa, car seats must adhere to European safety standards and be certified by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). When buying a car seat, be sure to look for the ECE sticker of approval located somewhere on the seat, as well as the regulation number ‘R44-04’. Also check the weight and size specifications, and avoid the ‘combination’ seats designed to accommodate a range of weights, as the needs of a new-born are quite different to that of an older child when it comes to back and neck support.
- Hungry kids are a no-no – If you’re planning to take your little one with you on the road, ensure that they have been fed before you go, or if your child is old enough to feed themselves then it is a good idea to pack them a goodie bag with their favourite snacks to carry in the car.
- Entertainment – Keeping your little one entertained in the car is an important part of ensuring an easy ride. Keep a CD with their favourite nursery rhymes, pop music or children’s stories in the form of audiobooks in the car, and let them carry their favourite toy along with them, such as a rattle or teddy bear.
- Prepare for the trip – Whether this is a short trip to the grocery store or a family holiday, it’s vital that you prepare for the trip by both informing your kids of what to expect and packing a “mummy bag”. Tell your kids at least a few hours before your road trip where you’ll be going and how long it will take to avoid any temper tantrums when it’s time to leave. If your child is an infant, carry a few diapers, a clean pair of clothes, a plastic bag, wet wipes, bum cream, a towel, a face cloth, a bottle of sterilised water, and a container of formula. For older children, the bag can contain more substantive snacks and bottles of juice, as well as a clean pair of clothes and underwear.
- Rewards for good behaviour – If it’s a particularly long trip, it’s a good idea to offer a reward for good behaviour. If they’re able to stay calm throughout the trip perhaps they can have their favourite fruit juice, or watch an extra twenty minutes of TV once you’re back at home.
- Rest up –Driving when you are exhausted is highly risky and can cause you to lose focus and awareness of your surroundings. Rather avoid driving when you haven’t had much sleep or, if you absolutely have to, grab a coffee to go to keep you awake and alert. If you start to feel drowsy behind the wheel, pull into the closest and safest petrol station or parking lot to rest.
- No distractions – Reaching behind you to find a toy to keep a fussing child entertained is not only challenging but often the cause of a number of child-related accidents on our roads. A great way to avoid distractions is to attach your child’s favourite toy to their baby seat using bungee cord or any kind of elasticated string. Make use of a Bluetooth car kit or the on-board Bluetooth or wireless system available in a number of car models.
Source: Imperial Auto