Stay safe on the school run

On the week Britain returns to school, IAM RoadSmart has compiled a list to help drivers stay focused with children in the car.

Child car seats are a must: A child must use a car seat until they are 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. There are different legal conditions around the type of child seats you can use based on the age and height of your child.

Pack for success: Bring your child’s favourite toys, games or books to keep them entertained whilst riding in the car. Playing games such as ‘I spy’ allows the child’s focus to be on the surroundings, making it easier for you to get to your destination. Be careful to not get distracted yourself.

Pack lots of small and healthy snacks: In case of a delay you want to be prepared.Keeping a cooler bag with you packed with nibbles like carrot sticks, grapes, raisins, juice boxes is a great distraction.

Plan your journey: Try to arrange stops with the children in mind and let them burn off some energy.

Head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, said, ‘If travelling a long distance try to arrange your travel to coincide with nap time or bed time – this may make for a more relaxing drive for you and the children. For short journeys encourage simple games. It not only distracts but can be educational too.

‘Sometimes the entertainment is just listening to the conversations your children have when they think you are not listening. There are lots of blogs and tips on websites such as Mumsnet and Gransnet on achieving in-car happiness. And remember that if you do have to stop, make sure it’s in a safe place for you, your passengers and other road users.’