DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - The most important tip for traveling by car with children is to be prepared for health and safety concerns, according to the Decatur Police Department's Sergeant Scott Strickland.
"Your basic first aid kit that's going to have some gauze, alcohol wipes things like that. You might could use those for other things as well. Basic little poncho. You can put these first aid kits together," he said.
He said don't forget some basic medications in addition to prescriptions. "Aspirin, pain reliever - something like that maybe something for car sickness."
One big preparation you want to make certain that you make is to take something just in case you get a puncture on your tire.
Strickland is with DPD's traffic unit. He said to also carry jumper cables and a tool kit, things such as screwdrivers and wrenches that you might need in an emergency.
He said you should have a mechanic check everything on the car: tire pressure, radiator and battery, before you leave. Carry a de-icer or anything else needed for a change in climate.
"For situations where maybe you have to change a flat, you can get a reflective vest or reflective raincoat or jacket. Fire extinguishers or a blanket and you can pack this stuff... I recommend maybe a duffel bag," added Strickland.
If you must pull over, use some common sense.
"Most of your shoulders on a major roadway are going to be fairly wide, so pull off as far as you can to safely pull off the road. Make sure you activate your flashers and things like that so other vehicles can see you," Strickland said.
Make certain children are not distracting the driver. "The older kids, they're going to text and keep them occupied, but younger kids - maybe some games, movie playing but something that's not going to distract the driver. Maybe if you don't have more than one or two kids, a parent can sit in the back with them and help them occupied back there."
Some ideas to make the trip safer and enjoyable.