Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Essential Items Every Family Should Have in Their Car...


We've had some bumpy experiences lately. Niiiiice and bumpy...

To start with, we've had an unfortunate family vehicle crash. We were all fine and thankfully not at fault: An on-coming driver decided to turn into his driveway right in front of us in a clearly mindless moment and BAM! Our almost new car was damaged on the front passenger side. The other driver's car was all but destroyed and spun into the gutter, deploying his airbags. It turned out he wasn't insured either. (Tsk...tsk!)

You're looking at almost $5000 worth of damages...



And so this week I am without my beloved family car and relying heavily on the kindness of some other lovely school Mummas, to ferry my kids to and from school while the panel beaters bang mine back to its former shape.

The experience of our first head-on car accident has got me thinking on all things cars (and luck!); especially things that every family should carry in their car or consider.

The importance of having correctly fitted car seats was really driven home by our recent experience. It is of paramount importance to ensure your kids are riding in the correct car seat for their age and height and that their car seats are also fitted correctly. Make sure you keep the manuals for any car seats you own in a safe place for quick reference, (even in the car itself is a great idea) and check that the seat belts are always fastened correctly. Little people have a tendency to fiddle with fittings on long, boring road trips and I've discovered unbuckled or ill-fitting belts too many times over the years.


On the subject of discovery, I recently found one of our booster seats was in fact broken and badly at that - polystyrene was spread about the car seat and floor like confetti and it had not occurred to any of the kiddos to let me know about it either. (Boys!) I was truly relieved that I had discovered this and removed it prior to our accident.

A first aid kit is a good idea to carry in your vehicle too. Apart from the smaller frequent accidents children manage to have, it's wise to carry a quantity of items in a purchased kit which includes necessities such as slings, scissors and antibacterial swabs. Most supermarkets sell mini first aid kits for a song which will tuck away in your car easily for unexpected incidents.


No car carrying kids should be without a bucket! How many times we've been saved by our faithful bucket I cannot tell you. Just trust me - it's been plenty! Great for trips to the beach to admire crabs, starfish and collecting shells but also invaluable for the unexpected bout of travel sickness or an urgent trip to the loo. You name it - our bucket's been called upon to do it! It's a small $1 investment that will serve you well and store inconspicuously in your car boot. Ours has even defrosted our windscreen on frosty mornings. (After a good cleaning mind you!) Nope, I wouldn't be without my bucket.


A towel is also a brilliant item to keep in your boot. Kids will invariably get messy or wet on outings and a towel has always been a welcome helping hand when they do. Accidents and spills within the car are swiftly mopped up, dirt removed and kids dried off. There are a million and one uses for a towel when travelling if you have children.

Garbage bags in your vehicle are a must with kids. Mine throw rubbish everywhere in our car on a daily basis (which drives me nuts by the way.) I keep a bag or two in the car and make my kiddos comply with the rubbish rule. We pass it around several times in a trip to collect whatever they've been consuming. It makes for an easy clean-up when we arrive home too.


I am pretty sure most car owners with kids carry tissues but in case you aren't, trust me, you need to! Consider carrying moist wipes of some description too. Whether you allow your kids to eat in your vehicle or not, these are a great staple for quick cleaning jobs on mucky faces and hands. Choose a good brand that won't dry out and will store long-term.

If you have a child in nappies, keep a second nappy bag packed in your car and fully stocked with all that you might need if you were held up in some unexpected circumstance - like an accident for example. Blankets, spare nappies, clothing, wipes - keep it all permanently in your vehicle and restock it as required.

My two younger boys are a total mess where clothing is concerned so for them I carry spare trousers and tees as well as undies and socks in a separate bag so that we're prepared for whatever manner in which they 'present' themselves. Thank god for that spare bag of clothing!

For pram pushing parents, make sure you have all of your pram's seasonal covers stored in your boot. Carry a rain cover and a net for sunny days, as well as a calico wrap to provide some sun coverage as the season warms up.


With the approach of Summer, make sure you've a picnic rug or two for outings and maybe pop a sun hut in too if you own one. Pop-up sun huts are brilliant for trips to the beach or park and a good quality one will provide up to 50 Plus SPF. The freedom to enjoy the outdoors in comfort for an unlimited amount of time is wonderful.

Sun hats for everyone are a must as well as a set of drinking cups. We have a gorgeous set of vintage metal cups which we take everywhere with us. They take good care of our needs and we wouldn't be without them. You can fill them up anywhere with anything as they even double as snack bowls. Purchase some paper cups if you've nothing decent to use and keep them handy in your glove box.

Finally, sunscreen is of major importance as we move into Summer but don't be tempted to keep this in your car - the heat of the season will destroy it before its time and you might find yourself and your kiddies burning as a result. We have discovered this one by accident ourselves - ouch!
 
What essentials do you carry in your car at all times?
 
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20 comments:

  1. :( sorry to hear of your accident - rubbish that the other driver was uninsured too :( I am making an emergency list for Luke's car ready for winter - the thought of breaking down in minus thirty - brrrr!

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    1. I can't even fathom how difficult that must be Holly. I can't believe people on your side of the world even go outdoors in that kind of weather, not to mention school, work, the supermarket...

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  2. Oh I am so sorry to hear about your accident :( Essentials in our car are becoming less and less as the boys grow up. Now days a packet of tissues, ipad charger for long drives, first aid kit never leaves the car and some spare cash in case there is no petrol or wallet - that's it Josefa #teamIBOT

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    1. One of the nice things about kids getting older is less stuff to consider but then there's a whole new list of worries isn't there! I have a habit of stealing my Husband's spare change...ssssh!

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  3. Oh gosh I'm glad you're all ok. How awful the other driver was uninsured. Reading your awesome tips with interest. I'm definitely buying a bucket (I have a boy too!).

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    1. Thanks Denise. I think the bucket is the best thing of all to have with children.

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  4. That's terrible about the accident! I'm sorry to hear it happened but glad you all weren't hurt. It's a pain to be without the car though! I need to keep a bucket and towel in the boot. I always keep a stocked nappy bag. It's a must with two kids in nappies.

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    1. I have been in my slippers all week - there's just nowhere to go and we don't live walking distance to the shops - saving quite a bit of cash this week that's for sure.

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  5. Glad to hear you are all OK after the accident. I always find myself short of tissues or wipes in the car - I need to get myself a little more organised!

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    1. Wipes are fab in the car. I carry wipes absolutely everywhere. I couldn't do Motherhood without them.

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  6. My in car essentials list has just multiplied thanks to your post. Off to the $2 shop in the morning to get a bucket! Plus some other essentials.

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    1. Last time I looked they were cheaper at Safeway! :D

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  7. So sad to hear about your poor car but so pleased everyone is okay...that's the main thing! Love all the photos of the kidlets.

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    1. Yes, my poor car. It is being repaired right now so hopefully when it comes back it looks all brand new again.

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  8. Buckets and towels - I totally agree! Everything from fun impromptu picnics to major vomit management relies on buckets and towels! I'm sorry to hear about your car though :(

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    1. When there's gastro in the house, I just park a bucket in the middle of the kids rooms for the next unfortunate victim! The last place you want these accidents is in the car - the smell just never leaves!

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  9. Oh goodness. How scary for you to be involved in an accident.

    I always love your tips and find myself nodding as I read. I have had these things in the car at different times but often forget to re-stock. Thanks for the great list. I'm going to go through it and get the car sorted.

    The photos of your kids (and their limbs flailing all over the car) are priceless.

    Must haves in our car: spare nappies/undies, beach gear and buckets/spade and music cds.

    ... you may also find the occasional old McDonald's chip down the side of the seat :/ hehe.

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    1. I almost popped beach gear in too :D. We actually do have a bag of bathers and towels that we lug about in the boot each Summer and it's waiting in the garage fully stocked to be returned to the car.
      I took these shots in about 30 seconds. They are a truthful visual account of what life with boys is really like. They behave like this 13 hours a day! Frustrating and exhausting but always funny!

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  10. Glad you're all ok. how crazy are those kids lol quick mum has a camera out :) great suggestions thank you for sharing them with us for Sunday Brunch lovely to see you as always xx

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    1. I am so glad we are all okay too - and the other driver. There would be nothing worse than the alternative. x

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