Does the idea of a road trip with kids stress you out? Me too. I can help eliminate stress so you gain confidence and peace of mind knowing you’re doing everything exactly right when it comes to keeping your kiddos safe in the seat. Before you hit the highway, stop, drop, and roll through these reminders. You got this!
1. Vehicle check
Be sure your vehicle is up-to-date on all service, check your tire pressure, and ensure everything is in tip-top shape when it comes to your car and what’s happening under the hood.
2. Car seat check
3. Caution, this vehicle makes frequent stops
Rather than stressing yourself out about frequent stops, build them into your mental roadmap. Kids shouldn’t be in their car seat for more than two hours at a time. Make frequent pit stops for food, bathroom breaks, diaper changes, and to get the blood flowing. It’s great for all passengers to stretch their legs often. Think of this journey as a series of short sprints rather than a nonstop marathon. In case you’re wondering, the two-hour rule applies at night too. In general, night driving is far more dangerous. It’s different than staying up late. Operating a vehicle with your most precious cargo on dark and silent highways may seem tempting but daylight illuminates a clear, safe path.
4. Snore-fest 2020
When your kid falls asleep in their car seat it is likely to feel like a dose of pure bliss. Savor it. But remember, car seats should never be used for prolonged sleep. If your baby nods off, don’t add anything to position their baby’s head. Your role in this journey is to be sure they are properly harnessed and that the car seat is installed at the correct angle. Then, let the car seat do its job – no add-ons necessary. If your kiddo has neck control and you’ve got the harness and install correct, fear not, if they are uncomfortable, they will wake up to reposition themselves if they are uncomfortable. Check out my Safe Sleep in Car Seats Course for all you need to know about safe sleep in and out of the car.
5. Clear the decks and baton down the hatches
Projectiles are those everyday items in your car that can go flying in a crash and cause serious injury to passengers. On a road trip, these items can easily pile up. Find safe storage solutions so nothing inside the car can unintentionally harm your precious cargo.
6. Are we there yet?
Dealing with boredom on road trips is something you should plan and prepare for! As you’re packing up, pick entertainment options that are safe.
7. Get in my belly!
I’m not going to tell you to never feed your child in their car seat, but consider five things before you open your vehicle as a rolling food and beverage cart.
- Any time a child eats, they are at risk of choking.
- In a car, you may not be available to come to their immediate aid if something goes down the wrong pipe.
- Have you ever tried to eat or drink laying down? It’s not awesome. Consider the recline level of your child’s car seat, their muscular and developmental abilities, and then make a parental best-judgment call knowing eating and drinking in the car is never 100% safe.
- For kids under two, my best advice is no food in the car. Don’t risk it. Pull over for feedings. And please, no breastfeeding in the car – it’s soooooo dangerous for mom and baby.
- Avoid risky bites and be intentional about the food you choose. Skip the lollypops and gummies!
These days, where there is oh-so-much uncertainty, we can get car seat safety right. Step aside uncertainty, we’re taking the driver’s seat because car seat safety is something we CAN be certain about.