Traveling safely with kids for the holidays requires some advance preparation.
“Getting to your holiday destination, whether it is over the river and through the woods, or if it is halfway across the country, it can be really harried,” said Cherie Sage with Safe Kids Kansas. “We just encourage people to take some time to plan to make things go as smoothly as possible.”
Traveling starts with buckling up.
“If you have multiple kids in the car, again with that harriedness, maybe, when you’re doing your head count, you do a call and response, Timmy, buckled, Jenny, buckled, go through and make sure,” said Sage. “Seatbelts are still the most effective way of reducing injuries during a crash and preventing death, so we want to make sure everyone is buckled on every ride.”
Being buckled if you’re traveling by air could mean taking your car seat.
“We do recommend that you use your child’s car seat if they are in a forward-facing harness seat,” said Sage. “You can’t install a rear-facing infant seat and you can’t use a booster seat on an airplane. There are different mechanics to the way that the seats move during a crash or during turbulence.”
You will need a car seat when you get where you’re going, though, so check it even if you can’t use it, so that you have it for a family member’s car or a taxi or rideshare.