Whether you’re enjoying that last summer road trip, waiting for school to start along with hockey, dance, and piano lessons, or just taking a trip to see the grandparents, your kids probably spend a lot of time in the car.
And, I think we would all agree, there is no cargo more precious than our children. Of course, people have always loved their kids, but these days we realize the potential dangers of traveling via car and we want to keep them as safe as possible. Yes, gone are the days where you hold your baby on your lap in the passenger seat, or let your four year old steer. In fact, you won’t get too far with kids in the back of a pick-up truck; that was a common sight, not all that long ago.
And, too, heaven forbid, if the kids are in the car for more 10 minutes, we don’t want them to be bored.
The American Academy of Pediatrics puts out updated guidelines out regarding what kind of car seat or accessory you need to keep your baby or child safe when they’re a passenger in a vehicle. Minnesota State law also requires that a child under eight years old or und 4’9” enjoy the ride in a car seat which meets federal standards.
The AAP’s guidelines are as follows:
All children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat.
Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear facing car seat until at least the age of two.
Once they have graduated to a forward facing car seat the child that should work until they are 65 pounds.
A child over 65 pounds should still sit in a booster seat with belt positioners until the shoulder strap fits.
And, admittedly, the new car seats are pretty pricey. But some of them have options making them convertible for the bulk of the childhood. Some car seats also may be detached and used as infant seats.
Knowing that car crashes are the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14, makes it a no brainer to make sure your precious cargo has the appropriate protection as a passenger.
Of course, you will also want to have an emergency kit handy and see our blogs about winterizing your car and keeping it cool in the summer for added safety tips.
Keeping them happy:
Keeping your kids comfortable might just involve a fluffy blanket and some pillows in the back seat, or maybe even a favorite stuffed animal. If the trip is much more than an hour chances are they’ll want a snack. And, that’s fine, just make sure to stay away from anything that’s a choking hazard like grapes, peanuts, or popcorn etc. Juice boxes work well for drinks, but be prepared for more bathroom stops.
Today your child most likely has their own kid-filtered Kindle, or maybe you’re lucky enough to have an SUV or a minivan with the movie screens built right into the back seat. Then, again there are also these things called books your child might enjoy.
And hey, it might surprise you how popular the old fashioned games remain that don’t require modern technology, things like I Spy, The License Plate game, or hangman. And, if all else fails, have a sing-a long to the radio.
Of course, no matter how safely you drive, fender benders still happen. And, even if you avoid minor accidents, you can’t control the weather. Sooner or later your vehicle will suffer hail damage. We can help make your vehicle look like new again. You don’t want to embarrass your kids by driving them around in a dented car do you!? Don’t bother going to a shop. Contact us here and we’ll come to you.