There are endless reasons to take road trips with toddlers. Having the family travel together provides you and your child the chance to connect on an even deeper level, as you are forced to see and hear things that you wouldn’t normally have the time to explore on your own. Toddlers, however, can sometimes be a handful. Many parents do not know the proper ways to keep their children safe while on these trips. Here are six must-have survival tips for handling toddlers on road trips:

Safety items for children are an important part of every road trip. It’s always best to carry basic first aid supplies, including bandages, pain reliever tablets, aspirin, and cotton balls. These items are often carried in the vehicle itself and can be used if a problem occurs. They will also provide relief for your toddler in case they get upset or scared while on the road.

Keep a cell phone with you in case your child needs help, especially if you are driving. Also, ask a friend or family member to keep one hand in the car with the cell phone and the other on your child. While it may be tempting to let your child talk on the cell phone or play with the phone, it is important for children to know that you are nearby and they should never let it fall into your hands.

Make sure your child’s clothing is as loose-fitting as possible. Kids often pull and tug on their clothing when they are excited or anxious about traveling. They can choke on their clothing as they try to free it from themselves. A large child’s hands are also relatively strong, so be careful not to cut yourself on the zipper or buttons. You’ll find these tips useful in keeping children’s clothing as comfortable as possible.

Be prepared for bad weather when taking your children on a road trip. It can be fun to do so, but prepare for the unexpected by packing light and having food and drinks that will last the trip. Keep a raincoat handy for cooler nights and pack sunblock when it gets hot out. Even when the weather is fine, stay inside because there’s always a chance that the roads will get wet.

If weather worsens, move your children to the side of the car where you can sit and keep an eye on them. Teach kids how to handle an umbrella and a raincoat. A child who knows how to stay dry will keep any mishaps from happening. Children’s attention can also be divided to pay attention to an older brother or sister who may get lost along the way.

Take your time when planning road trips with toddlers. If you’re planning to drive on a rainy day, take your children to spend the day at the park or in the nearest mall. In sunny days, let your children play outside near the beach. Avoid busy roads and freeways in favor of sidewalks and bike paths. Avoid long trips on unfamiliar routes. Look up what local landmarks are nearby before setting off on a long journey.

Parents often underestimate the amount of danger their children can encounter on a long trip. To avoid danger, keep your child’s area clean and tidy at all times. Avoid leaving a trail of food or drink along the way and remember to carry a first aid kit and sunscreen.

Keep your child’s mood happy. Share happy experiences as much as possible. This will help your children to bond with each other. Try not to be too strict on your child when it comes to discipline.

Plan for emergencies. Prepare a list of emergency contacts in case your child gets lost. This is especially important if you are taking children with you on day-long trips in unfamiliar areas. Make sure that all your children have easy access to phone numbers of their parents or someone they can call during an emergency.

There are no universal parenting strategies, but there are general things every family can do to minimize risk. Taking a well-planned road trips with toddler can be one of these strategies. Your time will be better spent with your family and less on avoiding potential dangers.

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