Surviving Road Trips with Kids
Keep Them Occupied
Traveling with infants and children can be very trying at times, yet the most important thing to consider is their safety. All children should have age appropriate car safety seats securely placed properly in any vehicle. Infant safety is the main priority when choosing car seats.
The seat should properly hold the child. If the child is too large or too small for the car seat, it could be dangerous and does not properly keep the child safe and secure. Pay attention to infants as they nap, a slumped head can lead to difficulty breathing, be sure that their respirations are even and unlabored.
Never take an infant or child out of a car seat while the vehicle is moving. If an infant's crying cannot be quieted, pull off of the road to a complete stop before taking the baby out of the car seat. Getting all passengers safely buckled in is just the first step, next is finding ways to keep them all quiet the duration of your trip.
Planning ahead so that there are age appropriate activities for each child is one way of helping keep boredom to a minimum. Since babies love bright and colorful objects, especially one that is new to them, a mobile with a few of their favorite objects and colors could be attached above their car seat. When babies aren't sleeping, rattles and pop-up toys can help keep them busy.
For older children, teens, and toddlers, a built in DVD player can be a true lifesaver, especially on long journeys. Older children should sit down together before departure and decide on any movies that they would like to take. Having them choose together ahead of time can help cut down on arguments while riding.
Boredom can be helped with age appropriate books and magazines as well. Most kids, and adults too, will enjoy something to snack on while on the road. Avoid such foods as carrots, nuts, and popcorn which are all considered to be choking hazards. Some appropriate, and usually well received snack foods could include: nabs, cookies, fruit slices, chips, and crackers. Just know that anything that the family snacks on will will have to be vacuumed out of the floor of the vehicle.
Vacations are a great way to spend time with your family. Even with the most careful planning, most people forget to pack some items for their trips, this is when having a travel bag could come in handy. This bag could contain things like extra clothes, diapers, sunscreen, and baby wipes (these also come in handy for spills or soiled hands).
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