A new poll has found that 30% of households in South Africa own a car, and at some point, most families go on long car trips for a holiday or to visit relatives and friends. Parents know the challenges of going on a long car journey with the little ones as they can get bored and restless while you’re on the road. Moreover, there are so many ways that adults can get distracted by their kids while driving, and this can pose potential dangers while you’re on your trip. The good thing is that there are several ways that you can keep your children safe while you enjoy your time together on the road.
While going on a road trip can be a good bonding activity with the whole family, it can lead to potential crashes or injury, especially if you don’t follow basic car safety tips. According to South Africa’s Department of Transport, about 14,000 people lose their lives in car crashes in the country every year. However, independent analysts dispute this number, saying that the deaths are more likely at 20,000 or 25,000 a year. To ensure the safety of your loved ones, here’s how to keep your child safe and entertained on a long car journey.
Before going on the road, make sure that your child’s car seat is installed properly. If you have more than one child, assign seating arrangements before you leave your home. Not only will you prevent them from bickering over who gets to sit where, but you’ll be more focused while you’re driving.
You may be planning to arrive at your destination at a certain time, but when you’re traveling with kids, you have to be flexible and make the time to meet their needs. Plan a rest stop every two hours or so during your trip. Young children may frequently need to use the bathroom, while babies and toddlers will need diaper changes every few hours. Always accompany your children if they’re going to the bathroom or if they’re going to buy a snack from the convenience store. Plan to make frequent rest stops so everyone can go to the bathroom or stretch for a while if they need to. You can even stop at a few playgrounds and parks along the way as a treat for the little ones.
Your first aid kit may have everything that you need for a road trip, but traveling with children means that you’ll need to add a few things in there for the safety and comfort of the little ones. Include all the medication that your child needs on a regular basis, some antihistamine for allergic reactions, a children’s pain reliever and fever medicine, finger bandages, and the like. You should also consider bringing a cooler filled with water, juice boxes, and healthy snacks in case you’ll be driving for a long stretch through an area without convenience stores or grocery stores.
Driving for long distances can be exhausting, and there’s a possibility that you may fall asleep at the wheel during your road trip. If you’re traveling with another adult, it’s a good idea to share driving duties during your road trip. Your driving partner can take the wheel while you rest, hand out snacks and toys and look after the kids, then you can switch after a few hours. Sharing driving duties gives adults a break from driving and some time to check on the kids during your road trip.
Going on a long car trip can be one of the most memorable activities that you can do with your family. Follow these tips to keep everyone safe and for a stress-free car trip with your kids.