The roads are great in Kenya currently, and most of us like to hop into the car on weekends and holidays to enjoy the cool country air away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Most times we take our little people with us, but do you know the A-Zs of taking them with us?
Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts of Travel with Children as prescribed by our travel experts.
- Buckle in babies and ensure they are seated in car seats
Fit all children 3 years and below in car seat in the back seat. At 3 years and below, children are more comfortable and safer in car seats. Make sure they are securely buckled in for the entire journey. Keep checking just in case they manage to unclasp the belt.
- Ensure all children are belted in
In case you are travelling with children over age 3, make sure they are all belted in at all times. The seat belts restrain their movements throughout the journey and keep them safe in case of any accidental impact with another vehicle or surface in an accident.
- Make sure the children’s heads, hands or legs are all inside the car
Children have a tendency of peeking out when the car is moving or putting out an arm or even a leg. Make sure to instruct them before the journey begins to remain seated at all times and maintain as minimal movements as possible.
- Children under four years of age should sit at the back and not at the front
Always seat children under the age of four in the back row of the car. This will protect them from immediate injury in case of an accident. The back row is the safest part of a car. Should you have to seat your child in the front seat, adjust it as far back as possible to protect your child from injury if airbags are activated. You should never disable or remove a car’s airbags!
- Make use of central lock to prevent children from opening the car doors
Children have a tendency to get restless and open car doors even while the vehicle is still in motion, oblivious of the danger that poses. A central lock when the car is moving and even when it stops will prevent this dangerous move and keep your children safe during the whole journey.
- Drop off or let children out only at kerbs
Kerbs are designated stopping areas along the road. Make sure to stop the car first before letting the children out. The children should exit the car only when the car has fully stopped. Also make sure they leave through the doors away from the road or fast-moving traffic.
- Children with additional (special) needs
Consult a health professional e.g. occupational therapist when it comes to appropriate restraint for your child or modifying a restraint so your child can use it. Only health professionals can modify restraints, recommend restraint accessories or suggest specialised restraints.
- Hold their hands while walking
It is highly advisable to hold the hands of children under age 9 as they are more likely to wander off and get lost or get hit. Guide them when crossing roads or boarding vehicles to pre-empt any accidents.
- Keep them entertained
Children lose concentration very easily. While travelling, especially for long distances, keep your children engaged as much as possible. You could maintain a conversation with them, play music or videos or allow them to play games or listen to audio books.