Traveling safely at all times
It’s time to start vacationing and traveling
Wherever we go, it is very likely that a car will be part of our travels, either because we have decided to drive around different cities, go to the mountains, to the beach, or get on a plane and rent a car when we arrive.
The relaxation that we have earned should not, however, apply behind the wheel, because at this time of year there is a significant volume of cars on the roads, and we must be extra cautious and keep in mind some practical tips to make sure that we all return safely.
In this article we are not going to focus on the same recommendations as always, the ones we hear every year. Instead, we will try to give you some guidelines for making the trip safe for your little ones.
First of all, just like we check the wheels of the car and the oil, we should inspect the child seat installation. Any that are fixed in using a seat belt should be reinstalled, getting rid of any slack that may have developed over time, due to the vibrations of the car and the fact that the child is getting in and out of their seat. We must check the seat, making sure that there are no discolored or worn plastic parts, unmistakable signs that it is deteriorating. In addition, we need to check the harnesses, to ensure that there is no wear due to friction (we may see some threads coming out of it). If any of these things have happened, we must throw the child seat away and replace it with another one in good condition.
If the seat has ISOFIX anchors, we have to make sure that the connectors are green and that the support leg is at the correct height and in the correct position.
Secondly, we should check that they have the necessary survival space, which means placing the backrest of the front seat at least 450 mm from the child’s nose. This is absolutely necessary at all times.
Put the head rests in the right position so that the head restraint of the child seat rests on them in the event of a backward movement.
In addition, DO NOT PUT ANYTHING on the cargo cover or on the rear seat.
If we have a pet, it must be secured by a safety harness designed for animals or be in a crate on the vehicle’s floor.
As far as the load in the trunk is concerned, we should try to place the heaviest objects at the edges and as low down as possible. In the event of a collision, the load in the luggage compartment will hit the backrest, which will deform to a greater or lesser extent depending on how the load is positioned. If the child seat has a Top Tether, this deformation will cause the system to malfunction and increase the necessary survival space. All this simply depends on how we end up arranging our bags in the trunk.
One more tip for the trunk. If the load we are carrying is very heavy (more than 10 kg per person) we must secure the items in the trunk with a restraint net or by using the load anchors.
Once we are on the road, we must prevent children from adopting positions that are not within their child seat. On long trips, it is normal for children to fall asleep, so we should try to use chairs that contain the head and shoulders, and have the ability to recline, to prevent the head from falling forward when they fall asleep.
We should make sure that children travel in comfortable clothes, and without shoes if possible. It is important to remember that, in general, our little ones do not reach the floor of the car, so it is uncomfortable for them to ride with their legs dangling for long periods of time.
Make stops at least every two hours so that they can play for a while. It also gives us a chance to stretch. The great thing about children is that they do not need very much to be able to play, so often just stopping in a shady place is enough for them. If we are able to plan our stops in places where there is something to visit or see, it will make the trip much more pleasant.
Finally, prepare games or other things to occupy them while they are in the car. This will make a long trip go much faster.
Another important factor is the temperature inside the passenger compartment. This should be pleasant, not too hot nor too cold. Normally, child seats are very hot for children, so we should take this into account when setting the temperature of the passenger compartment.
Safety on the road begins inside the car, by avoiding tension, shouting and stress. If the children are calm and occupied, they will also transmit this tranquility to the driver. In this way, driving and traveling is safer for everyone, the occupants of our vehicle as well as other road users.