Car travel with your family

With school holidays here we know a lot of families will take the opportunity to pack up the car and head off for a well deserved family break. It’s timely then to give some thought to travelling safely in the car with young children; especially when planning for trips.

Ensuring everybody is secure in their car seats and seatbelts (including you!) is the first step towards a safe and enjoyable journey. We all know this can be be somewhat of a challenge when you have independent and determined little ones. Talking about restraints can help and is something we might not think to do. Questions like…why are we wearing seatbelts? Who is wearing their belt in our car? The driver? Passengers? Do you need to wear one too?

Try also making it fun by reciting the following while you buckle them up and continue as they start to want to do it themselves:
Click Clack Front and Back
Click Clack Front and Back

Click Clack Front and Back
(continue for however many belts need buckling)
…And now it’s safe to go!

Keeping children contented and peaceful on long trips can also be a challenge. We all know they can become bored and restless which can be distracting for the driver. So here’s a few tips for you to consider to avoid this from happening:
– plan to take regular pit stops so that you and your child can stretch and get some fresh air and move around
– play some car games like “eye spy”; “colour copy” – select a colour and get your child to name everything they can see in that colour; “guess the animal” – make an animal noise and ask your child to name which it is
– pack some quiet activities that interest them and keep them entertained, such as:
– Their favourite teddy, doll or toy characters
– Reading or picture books
– Sticker books
– Audio books
– CDs with their favourite songs or nursery rhymes
– Colouring books
– Portable DVD player (if you have one)
– and of course, snacks!!

Some further precautions you may want to keep in mind when travelling:

– The heat in the car may change from season to season, so to make sure your child doesn’t get burns from seat belts place a small piece of fabric under the buckle
–¬† Remember to put the child lock on the doors and windows
–¬† Make sure when getting children out of the car to always use the safety door (passenger door on the left, closest to the pathway) to avoid injury

And of course, have fun on the journey!!

Further Information on Child Car Restraints – For your information:

Children under six months months: keep babies in a rearward-facing child restraint with inbuilt harness until they reach the maximum size limits and can sit by themselves.

Children ages at least six months to four years: Keep children in a rearward or forward-facing child restraint with inbuilt harness until they reach the weight limit or the restraint (18kg) before moving to a booster seat.

Children aged four years to under seven years: Keep children in a booster seat until they reach the maximum limit of 26kg. If the child is over seven years of age and still fits in a booster seat (up to 26kg) keep using it.

For more information on what the laws on child restraints are, please visit Kidsafe WA website or Smartsteps.

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