The school run isn’t the most relaxed of experiences. And longer journeys with kids can be even worse. Our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, should know – he’s a dad of three. Here’s his advice on driving with young children.
Having your offspring appropriately secured in the rear of your car will take at least one anxiety off your mind. Sometimes even the briefest drive with young kids can seem like a logistical nightmare, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Planning, practice and preparation will go a long way to ensure you don’t have a car journey from hell every weekday. Here are some tips:
Know The Law
Be familiar with the law on child seats. All kids under 12 must be in a suitable seat. Check out the Good Egg guide http://www.goodeggcarsafety.com/ for up-to-date information. Select a renowned retailer and always try out a few child seats in your vehicle before you go ahead with the purchase.
No To Used Seats
Never be enticed into purchasing a used car seat, as it may have been in a car accident or the vital fitting instructions may be absent. The law on booster seats has only just changed, so the guidance now is not to use a booster cushion but always go for a booster seat with a back to it.
Be Picky Parking
Be careful where you park your car. Getting in and out can be hazardous as tots can run quickly if they are close to the road.
Plan Your Trip
Strategize your car journey, including where to pull up for a toilet break; remember young kids will often need a comfort break before you will. Make it an adventure, perhaps even leave the motorway for a little treat? Keeping the children amused with safe games can be educational, too.
Check The Weather
Check out the weather forecast. Kids who are too warm or too chilly get petulant quickly. There are few things worse than a grumpy and hot toddler having a tantrum because they have been dressed in thermals.
Pack For Possibilities
Pack for triumph and calamity. You never know what you may have to handle on a long car journey, so we advise packing things such as food and drinks and spare clothing.