How to Keep Your Kids Safe When Driving

The Easter and the May Bank Holiday weekends are amazing opportunities to hit the road and explore with your family.

The kids will see it as a great adventure, but there’s much to think about when planning a long car trip.

There’s the snacks, blankets and games for the journey – as well as the holiday packing itself!

But one thing you don’t want to miss is ways to keep the kids safe when you’re concentrating on the road.

Your car

Let’s start with your car. Is it family-friendly?

One way to know that your kids’ safety is being looked after on the road is by choosing one with a high Euro NCAP child occupant protection rating.

A lot of modern models score well in this area – and can be affordable if you buy used from Peter Vardy.

Car seats

Kids legally must use a car seat until they’re either 12-years-old or 135cm/4ft 5in – whichever comes first. And your car seat must be EU-approved.

You’ll have a huge choice, so it’s important to find one that fits in your car safely – and is suitable for the weight/age of your young ones.

There are different kinds of car seats designed to meet different age and weight criteria. 
  • Infant Car Seats: These rear-facing seats are intended for newborns and small babies up to 15 months or 13 kg in age, offering specific safety features.
  • Convertible Car Seats: Convertible car seats offer you flexibility as your child grows; these seats can easily transform from rear- to forward-facing mode as your child outgrows it, making it suitable for infants up to four years of age or 18kg in weight.
  • Booster Seats: These seats are intended to meet the needs of older children who have outgrown forward-facing seats, such as booster seats. By elevating children so that their car's seat belt fits them more appropriately, Booster seats elevate children so that it fits securely. Typically suitable for children between 4-12 years of age (15-36kg).
Note that age and weight recommendations for car seats may differ based on their manufacturer and country regulations; before making your purchase, always referring to its specific guidelines for best use.

Isofix points

It sounds technical, but don’t worry – it’s quite simple. Isofix points are a more secure, easier way to attach your child seat. Instead of using a seat belt to secure the seat, you have dedicated points.

You can find them included as standard in cars produced after 2015 – and some made before then.

Window shades

A beautiful sunny day can make a family trip even more enjoyable, but you’ll want to keep your kids safe from harmful UV rays – especially if they’re sleeping!

That’s where sun shades can be a big help. These are protective shields that you can fix to the windscreen or your windows with ease.

That’s entertainment

Kids can get really excited by their road adventure, but too much excitement and it could be a safety risk. So, it’s a good idea to have some entertainment options to channel that energy.

A simple game like I-Spy can last a long time, and there’s always popping Peppa Pig on the iPad.

Clear the clutter

After getting home from a family road trip, there’ll almost certainly be some rubbish to clear up. But it’s a good idea to clean out the car before you set off too. If you need to brake quickly or encounter a sharp bend, loose objects can fly around inside the car or off the parcel shelf.

Child locks

It seems obvious, doesn’t it. For as long as your kids have been travelling in your car, you’ve had the child locks on to stop them opening the door while driving. But it’s always worth a second check…

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