Family Road Trip and Car Seats

Remember as a kid yourself the family road trip? It was an exciting adventure. The car itself was rather boring. But the discovery of new places was exciting. Who doesn’t love a good old American family road trip?

Some people fear the thought of traveling with kids on a road trip. But the cost of airfare for a family can be prohibitive for travel. Plus you get to experience the excitement and wonder of travel again through the eyes of your children. It doesn’t have to be hours of, “Are we there yet?”

With kids you’ll need to plan stops along the way to make it more fun in addition to getting food, gas and a good stretch. There are apps and websites available now to plan your stops at interesting places on your route.

You want to make sure your children are comfortable and somewhat entertained in the car. Give your older children head support for sleeping with a Cardiff Headrest. And give yourself some extra space in the car by using a RideSafer Travel Vest instead of a booster seat. Then you’ll have more space for all the stuff you need on the road. Just remember that everything in the car becomes a projectile during a crash so keep what you can buckled down, in a trunk or in a carrier of some sort.

Before you go, you need to be prepared for safe driving and when you travel with kids that means knowing car seat safety.

You may want to brush up on the child restraint laws for all the states on your route. Though not all laws are created equal and many stand up to what safety experts consider best practice, it is good to be aware just in case.

Car seat safety during a family road trip is just as important as for every day running around with children. The statistics show that still 3 out of 4 car seats are used incorrectly. That leaves a lot of room for improvement. These mistakes range from minor to life-threatening in a crash.

Here are some common mistakes:

  • The car seat is not secured snugly. A properly installed car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction when pulling at the belt path (where the seat belt goes through the car seat). Make sure you are using either the LATCH system OR the seat belt, not both.
  • The car seat harness straps are not in the correct position. For rear-facing, the straps should be at or below your child’s shoulders. For forward-facing, the straps should be at or slightly above the shoulders.
  • The chest clip is in the wrong position. The chest clip should be at armpit level of the child.
  • The harness straps are too loose. The harness should be snug enough that you cannot pinch the webbing together between your thumb and forefinger.

96% of parents think they are using their car seat correctly but 75% of car seats have misuses so to be sure your car seat is correct before your family road trip visit a local child passenger safety technician.

Safe travels.

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