Planning When Driving With Children
As parents there is always more planning involved when it comes to driving with our children. As small human beings they all will deal with travel differently. So will embrace it as an adventure, some will see it as a burden away from the internet, some may worry about travel sickness and with younger children, there is a real safety issue, making sure they are strapped in correctly for example.
The Green Flag, have a small article that is title “Coping with Kids”, that explores the safety aspect and in car entertainment options.
Child Safety In Car
Younger children should always travel in a legal child seat. There should be a tag complying with British legal requirements, this seat should be strapped in exactly as the instructions, normally using existing seat belts. In most cases the rear seats should be used, different child seats face forward, some face backwards.
Child seats are not things to cut corners on, just because it matches the current minimum legal requirements, does not mean it gives the maximum protection, of course the level of comfort will be higher from a better seat.
Toddlers under the legal height (currently 135cm, please check in case this has changed), must also stay in the rear seat and use a booster seat, strapped in with existing seat belts. Only when grown up children go beyond the height, can then sit in the front or rear using existing seat belts. Ensuring everything is at hand for what that child needs may also help, constant moving.
Keeping Your Kids Entertained
In car entertainment systems, can certainly help keep traditionally travel bored kids engaged and worry less about the journey. Green Flag wrote an article back in 2014 with ideas of keeping kids interested whilst in the car. Today, electronics probably rule entertainment world, with a huge range of apps and the ability now to download movies and replay whilst on the road.
One thing not mentioned, is try to keep screens high. Looking down whilst traveling can increase the likely hood of travel sickness. A way around this is to buy back seat attachments that will suspend tablets and Ipads behind the head rest of the front seat. So kids can watch their movies with their heads held high.
Vehicle Power Points
The days where one cigarette socket, are being replaced with USB outlets, both front and rear. One power outlet for many is just not enough, especially if the driver is using it for the Sat Nav. So being prepared with multi USB sockets, where one power outlet can be converted to several, is often a worthy purchase. However, there is a limited to how many electronic items can be plugged in at the same time. Some android devices, struggle to recharge when plugged in alone.
Of course family based car (normally MPV's) manufacturers have invested in the challenges of moving families around, so power points are likely to be more plentiful and designed for multi use.
Family Talk Time
Of course the old fashioned way of entertaining kids can also still work. Singing songs, Playing iSpy and even just talking can help children get through the travel and the driver can get to the chosen destination in peace.