00:26 - Never turn around when in your car driving
00:58 - The middle seat
01:49 - Lessening distraction
02:30 - Keep Hydrated
02:55 - No snacks allowed
Hi everybody. Harper Jones with Bow Tiger and you're watching Saturdays with Harper. And today we're going to talk about toddlers in the car and the different distractions you can experience when driving with your toddler in the back. So, there are several different things that can happen in the car. I wanted to sort of hone in on a couple that I find to be very specific, and also ways that you could just completely avoid these situations in general.
So I want to say my number one rule when driving in the car with a toddler, or driving in the car in general, is never turn around in the vehicle. If you do need to tend to your child, if something is going on with your child, make sure that you pulled over, or that your car is at least stopped because you turn around, because that can definitely cause an accident. It takes a split second for your car to veer the wrong way, one or the other. And we don't want that happening, so to avoid that completely, do not ever turn around in your vehicle when driving. Make sure that it's stopped.
The second thing that I do recommend is putting your child in the middle. Not only is it the safest place for your child, that middle seat. But it's also the easiest place for you to see your child in the rear-view mirror. Now I know sometimes there's sort of...there's pros, there's cons to those reverse mirrors that you put in the back. So through your rear-view, if your child is turned around, you can actually see them out of that mirror.
I really, really enjoyed having that. I did use that when my child was a little bit younger, a younger toddler. I kept her in her in car seat, turned around for over a year. Although, it is a recommendation of one year and now I believe it actually is bumping up to two years. I did kept her for about a year and a half that way and then turned her around, forward facing. Now forward facing, the rear-view mirror hits her just fine, so I can glance up every once in a while, see that she's still happy, still good to go.
The biggest issue that we have as far as the distraction, is that our child is bored so they want our attention. We can't give our attention to them when we're trying to drive and pay attention to what's in front, beside and behind us. So, to aid with that, use the things that are available to you. You can bring toys into the car, nothing that they will want to throw around. Or maybe something they can read a book that they can look through, a tablet that they can play on, a DVD. This is a great time for TV. I wouldn't necessarily always recommend TV for toddlers. But in the car, this is a great way to grab their attention and lessen the distraction of them while you're trying to drive. So definitely use that if it's available to you.
Another thing is make sure that you always have something for them to drink while they're in the car. I would recommend water just in case it spills, even if we use those spill-proof sippy cups. There's always the possibility. So make sure they have some water so they can stay hydrated on their drives. For some reasons, my daughter...it doesn't matter if it's just a 10-minute drive. Five minutes after being in the car, she's thirsty. So it's better just to have it on hand and available so they don't get cranky over that.
Now one thing that a lot of parents think, “Okay, I'm going to do this." I do not recommend you do this this. And that is bringing snacks in the car. First of all, if you would like to keep your car just nice and neat and tidy, snacks are not a good idea. Because you're normally going to think of crackers, or cheese, or apples, and one, all of that stinks if it gets left in the car. The crackers and everything, they do make a big mess.
But the reason why I really don't recommend it, is because there is the possibility that your child could choke on the food. And while they're in the back seat, that's going to be a huge distraction. And if you don't have the time to pull over, the first thing you're going to try to do is reach behind you while driving which again, could cause an accident.
So don't bring any food in the car. Always recommend making sure that your child had gotten a snack before you guys leave the house. And that way, their tummies are nice and full on the drive. Now of course, I understand if it's a longer drive, you guys are most likely going to bring snacks along. Make sure it's not something that could be easily choked on. And if you can stop at rest stops, different areas along the way to let your child sort of eat a snack, and you can eat a snack with them, stay energized, then that's great. That's actually the best way to do it.
So those would be a couple tidbits of information on what I think would help along the drive whether it's 10 minutes or 2 hours across the city. And if you guys have any questions, of course you could always as those on our Facebook page. And if you are watching this video on Facebook or YouTube, please be sure to also check out our blog on bowtiger.com and we'll see you next week. Thanks.