Summertime, heat, and kids in the car
Well some of you may have already realized that summertime also means no school and therefore adapted work-hours. In a previous post I gave you already some recommendations of what to do with kids during the summer (Summer ideas for kids from camps to workshops) and today I want to talk about a typical thing AuPairs do – not only during the summer of course: Driving with the kids
Does not sound too interesting? Please read on because here are some helpful tips and reminders.
I took my four kids to the beach at the end of my year. A wonderful sunny day, the beach is only about 30 minutes from us and we spend several nice hours there. Leaving the beach we were all tired-out and then we got stuck in a traffic jam and it took us more than an hour to get back home. Not a happy experience with four partially cranky kids (at the time 4, 7, 10, and 13) in the car even though the A/C (air conditioning) was running on full speed… I was glad we had some leftovers in our cooler that we took to the beach!
It does not matter if it is a situation as I described above, a routine trip to drop off or pick up the kids at soccer, camp, or other activities, or if it is an emergency where you broke down with your car. Some preparation can come a long way…
What to have in the car in summertime
Depending on where you are spending your year you may want to have a winter kit but a summer kit may also make a lot of sense. Just consider the possibility to break-down with your car while driving the kids around. It may take a bit until AAA, another service, or your host-parents can get to you. So here are my tips for the summer-safety-kit:
- Water – always have several bottles of water with you – at least one bottle per child and two for yourself, add a bottle to use for cooling-down (e.g. by putting the water on a small towel and putting it on your or your kids neck)
- Some snacks – My favorite is trail mix or granola bars or plain (animal) crackers, but pick something that you and your kids would like, that none of you is allergic to, and that does not melt in a hot car
- A blanket or a towel – To sit on or to cover underneath
- Suntan lotion and hats
- A charged cellphone
- A charging cable for your phone with a car-charger (I got one per car in the color of the car of these) or a power-bank (more than 2000 mAh is better) and a cable – in case your phone gives up
- Other car-related items like a first-aid kit, flashlight, gloves, a multi-tool, oil… also depending on the age of your car – talk with your host-parents about them
Remember to regularly check and re-fill the kit if necessary!
When you are stopping someplace in summertime…
NEVER, EVER leave your kids in the car in the summer!!! It just gets too hot inside of the car in summertime. Just look at the link/video to see the temperature a dog endures in a car – neither kids nor dogs should be left in the car even if windows are open – it becomes an oven!!!
Link to the article that was done for this video:http://www.liftbump.com/2015/06/66225-owners-left-front-windows-wide-open-for-their-dog-on-hot-day-but-they-miscalculated-big-time/?ts_pid=2
According to kidsandcars.org, 38 children die each year in hot cars and the numbers are higher for pets – both numbers are too high!!! Don’t come up with the excuse “It will just be a minute” or “I will be right back” or “I leave the windows open”. In summertime or on a hot day a car becomes an oven and cracking the windows does not help! In addition, children cannot control their body-temperature as we adults can and become more susceptible to heat-stroke! So even “lower” higher temperatures can be dangerous!!!
Don’t believe what summertime can do to the temperature in a car?
Here is an overview of the estimated vehicle interior air temperature in comparison to the outside air temperature over a period of time.
Follow these tips to avoid a tragedy in the summertime
The Costco Connection, the monthly magazine by Costco, provided the following tips in their July 2015 issue:
- Never leave kids or animals alone in a car in summertime – even for a minute
- Always check the front and the back seat of the car before leaving the vehicle
- Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat to help you remember to check
- Always lock your car and be sure kids don’t have access to the car keys or remote entry devices
- Check the car and trunk right away if your child or pet is missing
- Immediately call 911 if you see a child or pet left unattended in a hot car!!!
In case of not being able to get the kids out because of locked doors and closed windows, here is a little “trick” that may help to save lives: https://youtu.be/ArUnuEUd4VU
And here is a story that it even happens to the stars – the difference to some mothers and nannies on the news is that here family acted fast: http://www.today.com/video/carrie-underwoods-4-month-old-baby-rescued-from-locked-car-483310147622
It is better to be prepared for summertime and not need something than to get into an emergency situation and not have it. Again, NEVER leave a child in a car on a hot even mildly hot day – I do not want to read about any AuPair being arrested for doing that!!!
What are your experiences with kids in the car in the summertime? How do you stay cool and calm? What is in your emergency kit? Share your thoughts in the comments and remember to share this posts with your AuPair-friends to make them aware of the summer-car dangers!