Road Trip Ready: 5 Effective Strategies for Keeping Children Safe in the Car

If you’ve ever found yourself in a car with restless and fussy children on a long road trip, you know how challenging and distracting it can be. As a parent or guardian, it’s your main priority to keep your children safe and comfortable while travelling, regardless of the journey’s duration. When they’re overly excited or hyperactive, it’s natural to feel anxious and overwhelmed, but with the right preparation and strategies in place, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip for everyone.

How Do You Keep Your Child Safe When Traveling?

While road trips can be an exciting adventure for the whole family, they can easily turn into a nightmare if proper safety measures are not taken. Of course, the exact steps you take will depend on the age and behavioural tendencies of your little one, but there are a few general strategies that can help keep them safe while on the road.

Use an Appropriate Booster Seat

two kids sitting in car booster seats in the backseat of a car

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many parents overlook the importance of using an age-appropriate and customizable car booster seat. And it’s not just about getting one either – you need to ensure that it is installed correctly and securely to offer maximum safety to your child in case of an accident or sudden braking.

Naturally, this begs the question – what age can a child go to a booster seat? Well, according to Canadian guidelines, children under 8 years of age and weighing less than 40 – 80 lbs need to have some kind of booster seating in a car. However, it’s always best to double-check local laws and regulations in your area before hitting the road. Globally, the general rule of thumb is that children need to be at least 4 years old to use one, with the appropriate age varying from country to country.

Nonetheless, most car booster seats feature adjustable headrests and straps that can grow with your child as they get older, which ultimately helps save you money in the long run. With their customizable design, you can keep your child securely strapped in and prevent any potential injuries that could occur from sudden stops or turns.

Some models even offer convertible options with high back or no back features, with the former providing extra head and neck support while the latter offers more freedom of movement for slightly older children. Of course, this will all depend on the exact needs and preferences of your little one, but it does give you more control and peace of mind as a parent.

As for materials, you need to go for a car booster seat that offers plenty of cushioning and padding, especially in the headrest area. This way, your little bundle of joy will be more comfortable on longer journeys, which will prevent them from getting fidgety or agitated and keep them safely strapped in at all times.

Install Child Safety Locks and Window Controls

Another great way to keep your little ones safe in the car is by installing child safety locks and window controls. This ensures that they can’t open doors or windows while the vehicle is in motion, preventing any accidents from happening.

Some vehicles come with these features built-in, while others may require a professional installation. The exact mechanism and design of these features will vary depending on the make and model of your car, but most feature a simple lock that can be easily engaged or disengaged by adults.

The effectiveness of these safety measures will depend on how closely you supervise your child, especially if they are old enough to understand how locks and windows work. That’s why it’s always best to educate them about the dangers of opening doors or windows while in a moving vehicle and make sure they know not to play with any locks.

Pack Snacks and Toys Before Leaving


We all know how cranky children can get when they’re bored or hungry, and this can be particularly true during long car rides. To avoid any meltdowns, it’s always a good idea to pack some snacks and toys before hitting the road.

Non-perishable snacks like crackers, granola bars, and dried fruit can be a lifesaver on a long journey. They are easy to transport and provide a quick and convenient source of energy for your child. Plus, snacks can also help keep them occupied and distracted when they start to get restless.

Toys are another essential item to pack in your car before leaving. They’re fantastic distractions because they help kids pass the time quickly and keep them entertained while you focus on driving. Depending on the age of your kid, you can pack anything from soft toys, books, or even a tablet with their favourite movies or games.

Avoid Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road accidents, and it’s something that we should all take seriously. When travelling with children in the car, it’s essential to minimize any distractions as much as possible to ensure everyone’s safety.

One way to do this is by using car accessories that can increase your driving comfort, such as a headrest mount for your phone or tablet. This allows you to keep both hands on the wheel while still having access to navigation or music without having to look away from the road.

Another crucial step is to avoid engaging in any activities that will take your focus off of driving, such as texting or eating. It’s also a good idea to plan for frequent stops along the way so that you can take breaks and attend to your child’s needs without getting distracted behind the wheel.

Never Leave Children Unattended in the Car

Regardless of how quick or convenient it may seem at the time, it is never acceptable to leave children unattended in a car. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise rapidly, even if the windows are slightly open, which can lead to heatstroke and potentially be fatal for young children.

In addition to this, leaving your little one alone in the car also presents risks of abduction or injury from playing with locks or windows. It’s always best to take them with you when making any stops along the way or to have another responsible adult supervise them in the car if you need to step out for a while.

Mia Hadson

Mia is a passionate blogger. Her obsession with beauty, health and shopping started young. Her philosophy is based on simple things, regardless of whether it is about applying makeup, decorating a room or cleaning a home. She believes simplicity is the basis of beauty and she implements this ideology in all spheres of her life.