Four Tips for Holiday Travel with Children
The highways will be crowded this holiday season with drivers making their way to holiday feasts, shopping malls and family visits. If you're planning a trip with children, here are four tips to make the drive safe and enjoyable:
1. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends children sit in the back seat and be buckled-up properly.
Infants (under 20 lbs.) should ride in rear-facing convertible seats with harness straps at or below shoulder level.
Toddlers (20-40 lbs.) should ride in forward-facing convertible seats with harness straps at or above shoulders.
Young children (more than 40 lbs.) should ride in a forward-facing booster seat with the lap belt fitting across the upper thighs and shoulder belt snug across the chest.
2. One of the best ways to keep your family safe is to stay awake during your trip. The National Sleep Foundation and the AAA Foundation recommend the following:
Get a good night's sleep before your trip — 7-9 hours for adults and 8 ½-9 ½ hours for teens
Make sure a passenger is awake to talk to the driver.
Avoid medications that can impair performance.
Recognize signs of fatigue: lane drifting, hitting rumble strips, repeated yawning, tailgating, difficulty focusing.
Schedule stops every two hours or 100 miles.
3. Bring along toys, books and video games to keep the kids busy. If you're planning a long drive, be prepared for frequent bathroom and food stops.
4. If your child gets car sick, check with your doctor about possible medications to bring on the trip. To minimize the risk of carsickness, try driving at a constant speed, cracking a window, and feeding light snacks along the way to prevent the need for a heavy meal.