RV Safety Tips for Traveling with Children

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Coming into the last month of summer can feel like a bummer, but there is still plenty of time to take a trip with the family! One great way to vacation while still maintaining social distancing guidelines is planning a camping or RV trip to somewhere new or revisiting an old favorite spot. While planning such trips, it is always a great idea to consider some safety guidelines, tips, and tricks especially when traveling with children.

1. Buckle up! Make sure all passengers, especially children, are buckled up before the RV is in motion. In addition to this, children should be seated in forward-facing seats. forward facing seats allow seat belts and car seats to work properly in the way they were designed in the case of an accident.

2. If you are bringing or towing a smaller vehicle, consider driving it. This second vehicle can ensure you have the space for all members of your family to have a proper front-facing seat and seat belt, including children still needing car seats.

3. Check at your RV meets the Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. If you have an older RV this is a great resource to check for any necessary updates or additional plans for a second vehicle.

4. Practice safe riding with children prior to the long trip. Plan a time for a short 10 to 20-minute trip in the RV to teach children proper seat belt use while the RV is actually in motion. Though this may feel like a waste of time, it helps children learn the proper way to ride in the RV before they are stuck in the vehicle for an extended period of time.

5. Have a navigator to help the driver. The driver should never be distracted by the passengers, but it can be beneficial to have a second adult help navigate roads and directions. This way the driver can keep their focus on the road and the navigator can help with any necessary communication between the driver and other passengers.

It can be easy to feel safe while driving one of the biggest vehicles on the road but even RVs can have an accident. In an article about RV safety, Benjamin D. Hoffman, M.D., FAAP, a pediatric transportation safety expert and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) member, reminds RV owners that “if a vehicle is moving 60 mph, everything inside the vehicle is moving 60 mph, including the passengers, the blender and everything else. If you’re unrestrained at any point, you’re a potential human missile.” Using these 5 tips can help make an RV trip safer for all passengers, including children. Just because summer is ending doesn’t mean you and your family can’t squeeze in one more trip, so have fun and stay safe and healthy!

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