As a muma and a known worrier, safety for my family is my number one priority … alongside sleep of course! I’m that mum that always places my hand by Jaspers mouth to check he’s still breathing while he sleeps, I call 111 far more often than necessary and constantly worry that I’m not doing enough to keep Jaspers fit and healthy. Surprisingly though, when I teamed up with AXA insurance to promote the new car seat legislation I was completely dumfounded at how little I knew about car seat safety for the boys.
You can see in the promotional video below that myself and some other familiar Channel Mum mumas knew very little about the correct and legal car seat laws – which honestly made me feel awful!
We went to Halfords to have both boys carseats fitted and took their words for it that they were the right ones. Of course they were, they did a fab job, but I personally had no idea the age, size, weight etc that the boys should have been for their seats.
If you’re confused about it or simply want to brush up on the facts then you can check out the legislation here and I urge you to do so, even just for peace of mind that your travelling with safety first.
As part of the campaign, I’ve also been given the fab opportunity to speak with tv presenter and mum of three, Julia Bradbury, and ask her all about how she travels with her family with regards to safety and of course – sanity!
Hi Julia, us parents know that car journeys change completely when we have kids, how has travelling changed for you since having Zephyrus, Xanthe and Zena? Firstly you seriously consider whether I have to make that journey, if the grandparents can come to you…all the better! Secondly I have to plan pit stops now – before I used to get to the destination as quickly as possible.
With such a busy schedule how do you keep organised while travelling with kids? Before I set off, I plan the route and the stops as much as possible; so make sure the car is full of fuel before you set off; prepare playlists eg: sing-a-long, dance, sleeping/relaxing music etc. I also make sure I have all of my kids’ current favourite toys with me. If I know it’s a long journey coming up, I try to tire them out as much as possible beforehand so they fall asleep pretty much as soon as they get into the car.
I find it hard enough to entertain Jasper on his own in the car, how do you do it with three kids or do they kind of entertain each other? Well the girls are only 5 months old so they don’t need a lot of entertainment – they generally fall asleep, which obviously helps. Zeph on the other hand needs music, films and games to keep him occupied. I always have a game or two up my sleeve to make the journey more fun. I particularly try to engage them with their surroundings, so telling them fun facts about the journey we’re going on.
I swear by using silicone cupcake cases in the cup holders to collect the kids rubbish; what’s your ‘mum hack’ for making car journeys safer/ more fun/ less stressful?Pack a roll out toiletry bag full of toys and hang it on the seat in front of the babes to keep things within arm’s reach and sort of tidy (at the beginning of the journey anyway). That way it’s at least easy to tidy them up again after!
Lots of us mums use music to entertain our kiddies in the car, do you endure nursery rhymes on your journeys or have you trained your kids well to listen to your kind of music It’s a bit of both. Frozen’s Let it go is apparently the 3rd most popular sing a long song for kids according to AXA research, and Zephyr is no exception – he loves Frozen and wears his crown in the car so he looks like a little Prince sitting in his car seat. I don’t let him wear the dress in the car because he would get too hot!
Do you worry about car safety with your kids or are you quite relaxed? I presented Watchdog for 5 years so I’m big on research and safety when it comes to choosing cars seats. My children’s safety is a priority for me, as I’m sure it is for all parents, so I put in the time to read up on advice and new legislations to make sure I’m always up to date.
How did you choose your children’s car seats? Did you base your decisions on appearance, price or features, or purely safety and practicality? Did you do any research before choosing? I go for safety above appearance and I try to keep up with the latest advice. When I bought Xanthe and Zena’s car seats, I read up about the current favourites online before going into the store to get some first-hand advice. I also took the babes with me to make sure the car seat was right for them and the car!
How do you feel about the current legislation, do you find it confusing at all? (I certainly do) It runs in tandem with the current regulations so it’s not as confusing when you get to grips with it. I think the idea is for the weight based car seats to be slowly phased out over the next few years so if you’re buying new seats and plan to have lots of children I think it’s best to buy the latest i-Size models. Find a helpful guide about the new legislation and what that means at: www.axa.co.uk/childseat
Lastly what’s your top tip for travelling with kids? Try to make the journeys fun and involve them in the map/geography bit. Memory games and number plate games are good distractions, and try to plan pit stops at service stations that have good playgrounds or outdoor bits so you can let the kids have a run about and tire them out. I always try to get my eldest to run in the garden for a good half hour before we go anywhere….
Well those are some fab tips from Julia and her gorgeous kiddies. Rhys is definitely old enough to start playing games like I spy and spotting different coloured cars, but with Jasper the one thing I can certainly try with him is wearing him out in the garden before travelling – why didn’t I think of that before!?
Julia Bradbury is working with AXA to put parents at ease about the pressures of driving with children. To find out more about her top car entertainment tips and AXA’s comprehensive car insurance cover go to www.axa.co.uk/childseat.
Thanks for reading guys!