Everything from fatigue to hunger to physical discomfort may trigger a toddler tantrum. But what if you’re behind the wheel? A child’s constant screaming and wailing can be distracting, but trying to calm down a fussy toddler while driving is equally risky. Planning ahead and prioritizing your child’s comfort can ensure a safe and less stressful drive with your child in the car.
Toddler parents are among the most distracted drivers
Evidence suggests that toddler parents are among the most dangerous drivers on the road. Toddlers are difficult passengers since they can express their needs but are still dependent on their parents.
When a toddler drops their food or toy, they cannot reach for it themselves but expect it back in their hand instantly. Not addressing their needs would cause nonstop sobbing and wailing. Most parents will, therefore, take their eyes away from the road to look for the object.
Distracted driving leads to thousands of car accidents every year. Whether it’s stopping a sibling fight, searching for something they can play with or providing a snack, these actions can put you at risk.
Driving safety tips with children in the car
Balancing your child’s needs while maintaining safe driving practices is a challenge, but it should be doable with proper preparation.
Consider the following strategies:
Make car rides fun: Children may find car rides uncomfortable and scary, especially if they are long. You can make the car ride more bearable for your child by making car rides extra special. Put on your kid’s favorite music or give them a toy they can only play with inside the car.
Align drives with nap time: Going on a drive while your kid is sleepy may result in them dozing off for the rest of the trip. If that’s not an option, make sure that your child has had a good meal and enough sleep before you take them for a drive.
Keep food and toys within reach: These days, you can find items that let you hook toys onto your kid or the front seat so they’re constantly within reach. You can also prepare some mess-free snacks in advance and keep them in a plastic caddy, ready to be given to your kid when they’re hungry.
Dealing with a fussy child while driving doesn’t have to be a constant challenge. With thoughtful planning and preparation, you can help your child feel more comfortable during car rides, reducing the likelihood of tantrums.