Does the idea of getting in the car for Long Periods of Time with the kids bring a pit of dread in your stomach?
You are not alone….
Let’s face it, kids can be hard to keep entertained, especially in the car but you can’t avoid car trips entirely. You have to live your life, and it’s good for the little ones to get out and experience the world.
So, what do you do?
I know the electronics are so tempting – the blissfull peace – no screaming – no fighting but, as with anything kid related you have to do your research first.
When it comes to car seat safety, not all toys are created equal. Hard, seemingly lightweight objects become projectiles in a crash and as much as one hates to bring this up, this became all too real in the news recently. A three-year-old in Vilanova de Arousa, a town in the north-west of Spain, was killed by her flying tablet in September of 2018 when her mother’s car collided with the back of a school bus.
“Local reports indicate the girl was strapped into an Isofix-anchored child seat but the impact caused the tablet to fly into her face.
Road safety organisations [sic] have stressed that the tragedy was highly unusual.”
Unusual – absolutely – but possible – and preventable.
In that same article, the RAC‘s road safety expert Pete Williams said:
“We have not heard of any similar incidents but it is important to realize that in a high-speed accident any hard object which is not strapped down inside a vehicle has the potential to become a lethal projectile.”
Which is to say, it’s not just the obvious stuff that can become dangerous in a crash. A tablet might be a surprise, but that water bottle, your heavy bag…. Should all be stored in a way that it doesn’t go flying in the event of an accident.
There’s an easy rule you can follow to make the car safe. Toys in the car need to pass the “Ouch!” test. Drop the toy on your head (or just imagine doing it). If you say, “Ouch!” (or think it loudly, tough guy), it’s too heavy or hard or sharp-edged for the car!
Car toys should be soft and light, without hard or sharp bits. Why? Because in the event of a crash, the toy could be launched at your child (or you) at the speed you were going. Would you let a pro baseball player throw the toy at you or your child? If not, it’s probably not right for your car.
Here’s the deal, items at a high velocity have a “feel-like” weight that’s as heavy as the item’s actual weight multiplied by the speed at which you were driving. That means a 2 pound toy in a 50 mile per hour crash can feel like 100 pounds hitting you in a car accident. Ouch!
So, what do you offer your number one YouTube fan for entertainment? Well, we have some ideas for you!
You can use soft, bath-time books, soft plush toys and blanket-toys are also great for car rides. Stickers and other soft things that don’t make too much of a mess can make for a fun activity. Maybe some colorful band-aids for your band-aid bandits?
Meanwhile, slightly older, more responsible and finer-motor-skilled kids can safely have soft-cover books and booklets like invisible ink books, Mad Libs, and Crayola Wonder Finger Paints with special paper.