Winter Travel Tips with Young Children
Winter Driving can be especially hazardous. It is best to be prepared for any emergency. Keep a winter safety kit in the trunk of your car. In addition to jumper cables, an ice scraper, sand and a shovel consider packing blankets, snacks, formula, diapers and several changes of clothing. With each trip be sure to take plenty of water for each passenger in the car. Pack some non-perishable food that each passengers will eat. Whenever traveling with small children, it is a good idea to have something they can do along the way to distract them so the trip is easier on everyone concerned.
Due to cell phones (always keep charged and a charger in your car), some people may have a false sense of security. You will not always be able to just “call someone and they can come get you”. Severe snow storms can block even snow plows.
Allow time for the car to get warm before putting children in. Make sure to scrape or brush off any snow or ice before taking off.
It is important when putting toddlers and pre-school children in their car seats to not buckle them in with bulky coats or heavy snowsuits on. The extra padding will make it difficult to tighten the safety harness. In a crash, the harness will compress, allowing slack in the harness. It is best to get in the car, shut the door and then buckle the child in as then the child is not subject to the cold and you can take longer to make sure they are buckled correctly. Some cars are not designed to make this possible. If you are concerned about the child being cold due to not having a coat on, you can always cover them with the coat.
Allow extra time for travel. In any weather, you cannot be sure what delays might happen – road construction, slick roads, accidents that cause traffic slowdown.
If the driving condition worsens, explain to children that you will need all the concentration on the road. This is where having packed the activities the children can do might help a lot.