Traveling with your toddler

Toddlers can be very squirmy. As every parent know, they hate to sit in one place for too long a period of time, they get bored easily, and they want to be the boss! It is no surprise that so many small children dislike staying in their car seats.

It is extremely important that your child be securely fastened in the proper size car seat or booster seat each time he takes a ride in the car. How can you make his ride (and yours) more pleasant? By making a few changes you can help to keep those restless little ones safely belted in their seats and make everyone's trip more enjoyable.

  • Children love to make-believe! Act out a practice run at home, using their favorite toy or stuffed animal. You can belt them into their own car seat and take them off for a pretend drive to the grocery store. Talking about safety rules as you play, even with the youngest children, will reinforce the importance of buckling-up.
  • Provide each child with his own backpack to carry some special items to be used only in the car. Some items you might want to include are a tape player and tapes, a picture book and a special toy that is quiet and not annoying to the driver or other passengers.
  • Carry (non-messy) drinks and snacks, such as juice boxes, rice cakes, bagels, cereal, granola bars and pretzels.
  • Keep a supply of "emergency" items in the car. Stock with wet wipes, diapers, flashlight, band-aids, bottled water, lightweight blanket, etc.
  • Place a vinyl tablecloth or a large towel over the back seat to protect your car from spills and crumbs. Then you will be able to relax and not worry about the mess the kids are making.
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