Car Basics -- In Case of Emergency

Are you sufficiently prepared to weather a flat tire or lengthy traffic delay in summer heat with tired, cranky children? Things can happen that are beyond any parent’s control, so plan for the worst and hope for the best. Consider keeping the following in your vehicle:

Blanket – receiving size to cover hot car seats; a larger one for last-minute picnics or sudden chills

Books – audio books for any age, board books for toddlers, word-search and favorites for older children

Cell phone – and cell phone charger that works in a car lighter

Clean-up – wipes, tissues and plastic trash bags, good for trash or a car-sick child

Entertainment – favorite CDs and DVDs if your car has a DVD player

Fire extinguisher – if you need one, you’ll be glad you have it

First aid kit – assembled at home or purchased ready-made

Meal emergency kit – gift certificates or extra cash for a quick bite when hunger strikes; dried fruit and red licorice vines don’t melt or crumble

No-mess toys – Magna Doodle and Etch-a-sketch are good

Maps – even if you think you know where you’re going

Pencil and notepad – pens and markers dry out quickly and can make a mess

Potty essentials – extra diapers, wipes and a portable potty seat with plastic bag liner if children are potty training

Stroller – for when their legs, or your arms, give out

Telephone book – a small one with yellow pages can be invaluable when needed

Towel – helpful for spills or shielding steering wheels and seats from the sun

Water – some to drink and a spray bottle to mist children in the outdoor heat

And of course, there’s always the list of what to never leave in cars during the summer:

Cassettes or videotapes

More tips to reduce hot weather risks

See also:  Thumbs-Up for Rear Seat Entertainment
For long trips and bumper-to-bumper commutes, nothing can save the day – or the vacation – like a rear-seat entertainment system.