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Ten tips for how to enjoy a safe and calm trip with small children

Diez consejos para disfrutar de un viaje tranquilo y seguro con niños pequeños


Are you going to be taking a long car journey with children? We offer some recommendations to put into practice so that the journey goes ahead without complications and is as pleasant as possible for young children. 

1-Before starting out on the trip, check the car and plan the route. Check liquids, brakes and tires and decide on the route you will be taking. Pick a time when traffic will be lighter, on the safest highways with rest stops on the way. Remember that you should take a break at least every 2 hours or every 200 km. When traveling with young children, you should stop even more frequently, especially when they are babies. Advice on traveling with newborns.

2-Remember that all passengers should be traveling with their seat belts fastened. Children under 135 cm tall should be seated in an approved child restraint system suitable for their size and weight. They must be seated on the rear seats, save certain exceptions. The best place to put the seat is on the middle rear seat. However, if it does not have ISOFIX anchorages and both the child seat and the two rear side seats of the car have these anchors, it is advisable to use the rear seat behind the front passenger's seat. 

At Fundación MAPFRE we recommend using a  rear-facingchild restraint system whenever possible and using a CRS up until the child is 150 cm tall, at which point the seat belt can be safely fastened. 

3-Invest the necessary time in anchoring the child seat and securing the child. This must be done properly to ensure your child's safety. It is also imperative to secure all objects in the car and make sure nothing could break loose if strong braking or a collision occurs.  

4-Drive carefully and responsibly during the trip. This will be appreciated by all the passengers and means they will have a much more agreeable journey. 

5-Dress the children in comfortable and breathable clothing so that they are not too hot or too cold. Take a change of clothing in case it is needed. 

6-Maintain a comfortable temperature in the car. Do not have the air conditioning blowing directly at the children.  It is best to have a temperature of between 21 and 23 degrees centigrade in the car. It goes without saying that you must never leave a child alone inside a vehicle to make sure that they do not suffer from heat stroke. 

7-The children and all other passengers should keep well hydrated. Take several bottles of water and avoid eating heavy meals since this can contribute to generally feeling unwell and to car sickness.

8-Try to prevent children from reading or playing with a mobile phone as this can cause motion sickness. To prevent car sickness, have the windows wound down, keep the car at a comfortable temperature and avoid heavy meals. 

9-Keep the child entertained during the trip. It is a good idea to have an adult sitting with them so they can entertain them: singing, looking for things in the countryside through the window. Although the best option is for the child to sleep during the journey. We have come up with some recommendations on what the passengers can do for your road safety and that of your child during these summer trips.

10-Take a small first-aid kit in the car and have everything you might need to hand. 

In this infographic we offer you some of the main recommendations to bear in mind when taking car journeys with children:


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