United Garage Services

Child safety when driving in the summer heat

by Approved Garages | 26 Jul 2019

It’s almost the end of July, summer is in full swing and it’s so hot outside. But it can get even hotter inside a car.

If you’re planning on a long drive in this epic summer heat and you’re going to have children in the vehicle with you, it’s important that you’re aware of the temperature and everyone’s wellbeing at all times.

We want to make sure your family has the best time possible this summer, and so we have pulled together a few pointers to help you and your kids stay safe whilst driving in potentially record-breaking heat.

If its hot for you, its hotter for them

Children, particularly very young ones, are much more sensitive to temperature changes than adults. Babies have trouble regulating their own body temperature at the best of times, so its important that you are always mindful of the temp in your vehicle. Regularly check in with the kids to see how they’re feeling and make sure any babies aren’t too wrapped up or have too much air con blowing on bare skin and making them too cold!

Whilst on the subject of air con, don’t forget to adjust the front air-conditioning vents so they direct air to the rear passengers and make sure you are regularly changing your cabin filter to avoid the vents clogging up or spewing dirty air into your kids’ faces.

Plan your breaks and don’t leave the kids in the car

It’s important to make sure you plan to work in a breather or two. The kids will get frustrated, restless and very uncomfortable if driving in the heat for too long, so make sure they get out with you for a stretch and some fresh air. Not only that but babies should spend no longer than 2 hours in their car seats without taking a break, as their posture won’t be good for blood circulation and they’re likely to overheat.

Remember to bring plenty of water and snacks to avoid dehydration and as a pro tip, freeze your cool drinks the night before your drive so that they’ll stay nice and fresh throughout the hot day. Don’t worry, they’ll be solid at first, but they will soon melt.

Equip your vehicle with all the right gear

There are plenty of things you’ll need to kit your car out with when driving with kids in the car, and this list grows in the summer! Here is our checklist covering the basics:

  • Get sunshades for the rear passenger windows to protect your children from heat and sun glare
  • Making sure your child is in the right size and type of car seat is essential for a long summer drive and optimal safety so be sure everything is up to spec before you hit the road
  • Bring towels to sit on if anyone is wearing shorts and you have leather or vinyl seating. Why not bring a light pair of gloves for if you find the steering wheel too hot to handle
  • Always have an easily accessible ‘road trip bag’ in the car with emergency baby supplies, drinks and snacks for any roadside stops
  • Internal mirrors – you can get a range of different kinds of mirrors that fit inside your car that allow you to spy on the kids without having to turn around and take your eyes off the road
  • A child friendly road trip playlist everyone can sing along to will help keep everyone sane and in good spirits when spending hours on the road!

Now whilst it’s important to be well equipped, try and resist the temptation to stuff the car to the gills and overload it in such a way it compromises comfort or safety.

Child safety is a serious topic but if you follow our guidance, you’ll be able to focus on the important stuff, like having heaps of family fun in the sun. As always if you need to make sure your car is ready for a long hot summer road trip, we recommend you check in at your nearest approved garage so you don’t risk needing to call roadside assistance in the middle of a heatwave.