Having kids to cart around in the car can be a lot of fun. I have so many fond memories of spending time with my parents and grandparents in the car. It's where a lot of memories are made for so many families, especially those who are willing to slow down and take notice of their time together and learn to enjoy it, rather than rush or view it as an inconvenience. I try to make my time spent in the car with my own kids fun for them, but safety is always my top priority. The winter months can be especially scary for parents as they navigate driving their precious cargo around. Here are some tips and important things to remember when driving your kids around during the winter.
No bulky clothing or coats should be worn in the car.
I honestly had no idea that I shouldn't have been buckling my toddler into his car seat with a coat on when I was a new mom. I quickly learned that the added bulk underneath the restraints (seat straps) can cause the straps to fail, resulting in serious injury to the child or worse if you get into a car accident. The thought of a simple error on my part resulting in something horrific for my child scared me so much that I have become an advocate for raising awareness about child car seat safety- especially during the winter.
Coats should be removed before your kids buckle up. I know- it's a huge pain to take coats off and put them back on, but it is the safest thing for your child. I like to dress my kids in layers, and they can cover up their legs with their coats in the car, or even use a thin throw blanket to keep warm if the car hasn't fully warmed up on cold mornings.
I warm the car up (outside, properly ventilated) for about ten minutes before we are due to leave our home each morning. This way, the car runs smoothly, and the interior is warm for us when we all remove our coats.
Don't leave infant carriers in the car- take them inside.
Did you know that leaving the carrier portion of an infant car seat can cause problems if left in a cold car? Sure, it's easier to just leave the carrier in the car, locked into the base, but it is safer to remove the carrier and let it sit at room temperature inside of your home during the winter, and during the summer.
Keep distractions minimized while driving.
Winter weather is unpredictable. It could be raining one minute and change over to sleet or freezing rain while you're mid-trip. Make sure you know what all of the buttons on your dash do so you can properly heat/defrost your car. Keep the kids entertained with books or by talking to them, rather than blasting music and 'dancing' in your seats. Keeping everyone calm, warm, and properly restrained is the safest thing you can do for your family when traveling by car in the winter.
Winter can be a beautiful time, and one to enjoy with your family. Keeping everyone safe from the get-go will allow you to focus on family time, rather than worrying about the 'what-if's.'
This post brought to you by Miller's Cross Pointe Motor Cars.