Going on a road trip with a toddler is an idea that bears its own set of difficulties and inconveniences, yet, sometimes even taking a short commute to the grocery store can be less than simple. Toddlers require specialized seating but even this doesn’t completely solve your problem. You see, toddlers don’t have a lot of patience, which makes them into a distraction on the road, especially if you and your toddler are travelling on your own. However, just because it’s difficult it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing that you can do about it. Here are several most efficient ways of protecting your toddler.
Get a Proper Safety Seat
When it comes to protecting your toddler on road, the first thing you have to do is find a proper safety seat. This alone can reduce the risk of injury by up to 82 percent and the risk of death by 28 percent. This is in comparison with situations in which children of the same age use nothing but their seat belts. In order for them to be properly protected, nonetheless, you should probably look for a safety seat that’s made for them exclusively. For instance, children lighter than 35 pounds (16 kilograms) should be placed in infant-only seats for optimal protection.
The way you install the seat also matters quite a bit. Namely, it’s quite intuitive to install the safety seat in the middle of the back seat. However, if you deem that the middle of the seat isn’t an optimal position (it doesn’t fit as securely), you need to alter your plans. This may depend on your choice of the booster seat. Due to the nature of the seat, the tightness of the belt might loosen up a bit over the course of time. Therefore, you need to check it before every single use.
The proper use of the seat is also quite important, especially the way in which you harness your infant. The head of the baby needs to be at least two inches below the top of the safety seat, whereas the straps need to fit snugly. The way to check this is fairly simple – if you can pinch the harness webbing between fingers, it requires some additional tightening. Most important of all, however, is for you to read the safety seat’s manual, seeing as how this is where you’ll find all the specifics.
Drive at Night
The second thing we mentioned in the introduction is the amount of distraction that an average toddler can produce, which is why you should probably drive at night. This is not only good for you but for your toddler, as well, seeing as how they can just sleep through the whole ordeal. As for the meals, during the night, you should resort to snacks instead of stopping for a meal. Lastly, try to put them to sleep in a car, instead of allowing them to fall asleep in their crib and then taking them to the car afterwards. For some, driving at night is the idea that’s opposite of safe, however, it’s a compromise that you, as a parent, might be forced to make.
The next thing you should understand is the fact that the choice of clothing may play a huge role in how comfortable your kids are during the trip. Not only that but when harnessing your child, one strap, in particular, is meant to go between the child’s legs, which is why you need to pick the outfit that will allow for such a thing. If you decide to go for a night ride, as we’ve already suggested, dressing your toddler in pyjamas might be a good idea. Just remember that the outfit that you pick for them might end up determining their mood which is, on its own, a determining factor for the rest of the trip.
Darkening the Window
You also need to understand that the danger for your toddler doesn’t necessarily come from a potential car accident but could have another source, as well. The light shining directly into their face, especially while they’re trying to sleep can be incredibly annoying. Still, if you’re driving during the daytime and your toddler seems to be enjoying the view, darkening the window next to them might not be the best of ideas. Either way, there are so many different variables that you need to consider in order to be able to take the most adequate course of action.
A calm toddler is the one that allows you to focus on the road ahead, therefore minimizing the probability of the accident. Namely, about 94 percent of all car accidents are a direct result of human error, which is why an investment in your kid’s entertainment might be a safety measure, as well. Ideally, you want your kid to experience and enjoy the ride, nonetheless, if going gets tough, having a backup plan is a good idea. We’re talking about a couple of episodes of their favorite cartoon downloaded on a tablet might end up being life-saving. Having something that can calm them down in an instance is crucial for the success of any road trip that you decide to undertake.
As you can see, some of these safety measures can also be considered as an investment in the overall quality of the trip. Not only is your child safer after you take some of these measures but they’re also more likely to enjoy the actual trip. A proper win-win scenario if there ever was one. Moreover, all of these measures aren’t that hard to pull off. On the other hand, even if they were, the safety of your toddler is more than worth it.