Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Making your Car Child-friendly

This is a fabulous Guest Post from Joel Dowling who writes for the Sainsbury’s Bank Money Matters blog on a wide range of subjects including family life and motoring. He has two young children but no longer dreads long journeys.

I hope you find this as informative and helpful as I did!

Making your Car Child-friendly

One of the many daunting aspects of parenting is working out what you need and what you don’t. The marketplace seems to teem with products that you simply must have.

But for travelling with your kids, there are only really a few essentials that you need to help you get by. Here are a few handy tips to consider:

Safety is the first consideration:

  • Make sure you have a car seat that’s the right size and shape for your child and that it definitely works with your make and model of vehicle. Any serious vendor will have staff trained to know exactly what you need.
  • Make sure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. Get your tyres, brakes, air bags and fluid levels checked regularly, and carry out all the regular maintenance recommended in your owner’s manual.
  • Make sure you have adequate and appropriate central locking and child locking systems, and that they work properly.

Occupation – is next on the list of priorities. Children of any age can be incredibly distracting to a driver, especially if you don’t have another adult with you. So, here’s what to do:

  • Get your in-car entertainment sorted out before you go: integral rattles, books, music, films and toys should be exactly where you need them to be, and cued up, before you set out.
  • Make sure that you have fed the children before you leave or have planned a stop en route so that you are not distracted by endless demands for food, the consumption of which will leave the interior of your vehicle looking like a fast food outlet on Saturday night.

Cleanliness on the subject of hygiene and the preservation of your vehicle:

  • Make sure you are well-stocked with wipes, nappy bags, sick bags and a changing mat as well as a change of clothes for everyone, including the adults!
  • To avoid mishaps, make sure that everyone has visited the bathroom before you leave and plan regular stops.
  • Whatever other precautions you take, make sure you are adequately covered with car insurance.
You may well find that with a little preparation, nightmare journeys are a thing of the past and car travel is something you look forward to doing – together.

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