Winter Weather Driving with Kids
As the weather around here gets ickier the urge to prepare the care for emergency situations nags at my mind. You never know what can happen on icy roads and with kids often in the car I won’t chance it.
Check your car seats:
Double and triple check to make sure that your seats are installed properly. Not that you shouldn’t be doing this regularly anyway, but now is a better them then ever to make sure. If you notice your straps are not holding properly REPLACE YOUR CARSEAT! You can have the highest rated safest car seat on the market and if it’s installed incorrectly it will do your child NO good in the case of an accident.
Yes I know this totally sounds like a smart move with negative degree wind chills right? WRONG, it’s the perfect idea. Jackets make car seat straps inadequate for keeping children safe. I’d rather warm the car and have the kids be a bit chilly until the car really gets warmed up rather than lose their life because they’ve slipped through the straps of their seat because they aren’t tight enough. Think you can get your straps tight enough to be safe, try it. Bring the car seat inside, put junior in his coat and buckle him up. Go ahead tighten those straps! PULL! Now, take junior out of his seat, take off his jacket and re buckle. If there is more than a finger spacing between his chest and the buckle his straps are in fact too loose! Try car seat ponchos or putting the jacket on backwards once kids are buckled into their seats for safer options. Bundle up with hats and gloves to help keep heat in!
Heaven forbid you be in a minor accident in the snow where you are stranded for a period of time. With kids in the car, this is a scary though, so let’s be prepared. Get those instant heat packs (ya know, the ones you break and shake and they get warm?) and have them handy. Do not let children hold these directly but these are best wrapped in a towel for kids to hold or placed between the fabric and plastic of the car seat (once you’re no longer moving!) to help keep kids warm until help can arrive. Keep extra clothes, so you can put on warmer layers. Obviously diapers and wipes because there will be nothing worse than soaked through diapers in freezing weather. Keep snacks and formula (buy a small can that can remain sealed). These things also would be helpful should you be taken to a hospital or some other place until you can be picked up by someone. I would also suggest picking up a small first aid kit and a car emergency kit that will contain things specific to the vehicle. In the event you have older kids make sure they know how to operate your cell phone so in the case you, as the driver, are injured your children can make an emergency call (no excuses on this one, my 3 year old can pretty much navigate my cell phone- it’s never too early to learn this concept- well, not that I would SHOW my 3 year old how to call 911 but you get the idea!)