The holidays are upon us, which means many families will be hitting the road to gather together to enjoy the festivities. Do you have a list of necessities when traveling with kids? While remembering the electronics and the snacks might be at the top of your car trip ‘must have’ list, it’s even more important that you focus on the safety of your trip first.
Debra Holtzman, a nationally recognized child safety and health expert and author of "The Safe Baby," recommends the following tips to prepare for emergencies in your car:
Supplies to keep inside your vehicle at all times:
- Complete first aid kit
- Hand-cranked or battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries
- Cell phone charger and portable power bank
- Small amount of cash and change
- Nonperishable snacks and bottled water
- Driver's manual
- Duct tape, paper towels, and scissors
- Pen and pad of paper (to leave a note on the windshield of a car or jot down information)
- Car escape tool (which can break side car windows and cut through seat belts)
Supplies to keep in the trunk year round:
- Bottle of motor oil
- Basic tool kit
- Jumper cables or portable battery booster
- Flares and/or reflectors
- Extra fuses
- Tire pressure gauge
Supplies to keep in the car in cold climates:
- Warm blankets
- A snow brush with an ice scraper
- A collapsible shovel
- Kitty litter or sand
- Tire chains
- A tow rope
Before you hit the road:
- Have your mechanic do a full trip check of your car before you go. Most garages do this for free if you are a regular customer.
- Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
- Be aware of your exact location at all times. If you need emergency assistance, you will need to give information about your location to a dispatcher.
- Check your spare tire to make sure it isn’t flat.
- Consider joining a 24-hour automobile emergency service.
- Stay up-to-date on weather conditions, road construction, work zones, and detours. Let someone know your exact route and anticipated arrival time.
By taking a few precautions before heading out with visions of pie and family time on your mind, you can hit the road with ease this holiday season!
Debra Holtzman of The Safety Expert has been helping families stay safe for more than two decades. Debra is a nationally renowned child safety and health expert, speaker, baby educator, crisis manager, and a specialist on the subjects of injury prevention. The author of the awarding winning book, The Safe Baby: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Safety and Healthy Living, she has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, Weekend Today, Dateline, The Daily Buzz, CNBC, Asia Market Watch, MSNBC, ABC World News Tonight, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and Dr. Oz The Good Life.