If you have money to burn and a high-tech vehicle, then you’ve probably considered installing some in-seat entertainment much like the systems that a plane has. You can install screens or even fully functional tablets into the back of the front seats of a car, giving your children in the back plenty of entertainment to indulge in while they’re on a long and boring car journey. With some additional headphone ports, headphones and perhaps even an in-car WiFi connection, they’ll be able to play games, watch shows and even chat with their friends while they’re in the car.
It’s so good in fact, that your children might actually love long car journeys. However, your children might get motion sick relatively easily if they are playing games or watching films while also being in the car. If your children are getting motion sick, then consider removing these sources of entertainment and encourage them to take a rest instead. There are many adults that also find it almost impossible to do any reading or work while in a moving vehicle, but a great alternative is to plug in some headphones and listen to an audiobook or music instead.
If installing entire entertainment systems it a little out of your budget or impractical, then you can always hand them simple tablet devices, smartphones or even portable game consoles such as the new Nintendo Switch or Playstation Vita. These portable consoles have great battery life, a fantastic library of games (although the Nintendo Switch is still new and only has a few games suitable for children) and they’re a lot of fun.
Encourage singing and conversation
We’ve all seen this familiar situation in movies; a family is driving down a long stretch of road, blasting classic pop tunes while singing together in harmony. Sadly, it can get annoying sometimes and it’s distracting for the driver, but it’s a fantastic way to connect with your family if everyone’s spirits are low due to the long and boring drive.
However, encouraging conversation is something that is a lot more relaxing and can also help you bond with the rest of your family. Try to pick subjects that engage your children and make them think. For instance, you could carry a small book of quiz questions and test them on their general knowledge. Or you could bring their textbooks and read out some questions to see if they’ve been learning properly at school. You could also speak about more light-hearted topics, such as what they’ll do when you arrive at your destination, what they want to eat for dinner and talking about their hobbies.
One of the most worrisome things for a parent is thinking what your child gets up to in the back while you’re driving. Could they be fiddling about with the car lock, are they playing with the windows or are they slouched over in an uncomfortable position that will injure them if the car suddenly jolts forward? With so many worries, our only defences are usually the child safety controls in our vehicles and the trusty old seatbelt. However, these can easily be defeated by a clever child that wants more freedom in the back of the car, so what other ways do we have to keep them safe?
Aside from the typical seatbelt that you should always remind them to wear when inside the car, you can also get baby seats or child seats if you want more peace of mind. Websites such as babyseats.reviews have tonnes of information about baby car seats. To make it even more convenient, they’re sorted by categories such as price, type and even brands. A baby seat doesn’t take long to install, they add an extra layer of protection and it also lifts them off the seat slightly to give them a more comfortable sleeping position. They also usually have side head rests should your child fall asleep and lean over.
Beware of hot days
When the sun is blazing and the air is humid, we struggle to think straight let alone worry about our kids in the car. Hot days are the enemy of all drivers, and to make matters worse, it’s no easier on your child. They could be screamed, crying or even sweating profusely due to the heat, contributing to the already stressful day.
Ensure that you always have a spare bottle of water for your child to remain hydrated and remind them to take a sip whenever they feel thirsty. Another good point to remember is that you should never, under any circumstances, leave your child alone in the car. Cars can become baking hot ovens if left in the sun. It doesn’t matter if you’re stepping out to pay for petrol or queue in line at the supermarket—you should never leave your child unattended inside a vehicle because it could significantly raise their chances of being injured due to a heat stroke.
A lot of entertainment that can be used in the car works on battery power. This means it’s essential to carry at least one durable portable battery bank in the car. You should keep it out of harm’s way and keep it hidden away from direct sunlight to prevent it from getting damaged and potentially exploding. The type of battery bank you’ll need depends on the number of devices you need to charge and what kind of devices they are. Tablets, for example, take up a lot of battery power if they are constantly in use. Smartphones and portable game consoles take up less battery power but can chew through an entire battery bank within just an hour if they are being heavily used. Smaller devices such as iPods or electronic reading devices take much less battery power, meaning you won’t need a very powerful battery bank to keep them charged.
Lastly, we can speak about studying. Although it does take a lot of effort to study in the car when it’s rocking back and forth, children who are interested in learning something can take their school books with them in an attempt to pick up some new knowledge or revise for an exam before the big day. If reading is difficult or bothersome inside of a vehicle, then consider getting educational or informative audio books for them to listen to while in the car. It’s much easier to handle, often cheaper, and the entire family can listen in and speak about it.