Before we know it the kids will be going back to school and beginning new or continuing with after-school and sporting activities. Grainne Kelly, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and designer of BubbleBum, would like to share her best tips for organizing a carpool group with other parents around your area that have kids enjoying the same activities.
Grainne is willing to share her tips. These are especially helpful if you are transporting younger children to and from their destinations. In part, she is also promoting BubbleBum, the first ever inflatable booster seat. This product is the perfect solution for parents carpooling with other people’s children, if you are traveling with children and must rent an automobile, ride in a cab, etc.
BubbleBum weighs less than a pound and is portable enough to keep in a backpack, in the backseat or even in a large purse. It deflates easily to get back to a portable size. BubbleBum is an award winning carseat (just won GOLD in the National Parents Publications Awards and was twice announced as an IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety) “Best Bet” in their booster seat evaluation report, where they branded BubbleBum as one of the best for safety!) designed to make traveling with children easy, convenient and safe.
BubbleBum ($29.99) is sold online at www.bubblebum.us and is now conveniently available at Walmart stores and select Target stores nationwide! You can also connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
With the combination of the BubbleBum and Grainne Kelly’s carpool tips, this busy next chapter in 2015 should be that much easier to obtain. Listed below are Grainne’s tips:
1. Keep a written schedule of who is responsible for picking up kids and dropping them off. Create a carpooling calendar each month and provide a copy to each parent in your carpool group. Be sure to include pick and drop off points to avoid confusion.
2. Keep a few toys in the car to keep younger kids occupied. Select toys that don’t make much noise to keep the distraction level to a minimum while driving. If you have a DVD system in your vehicle, consider playing sing-a-longs to keep the kids engaged and happy.
3. Set ground rules with the kids at the beginning of the school year to minimize disagreements and confusion. Sit down as a group to get everyone on the same page. Take notes of the discussion. Pass out a copy of the agreed upon rules to each parent to set the baseline for a successful school year.
4. If you choose to allow snacks in your car, use individual snack size baggies and don’t overflow to prevent spillage. Try to keep the snacks nutritious by only providing cut up fruit, cheese sticks, or sliced vegetables.
5. If you are transporting older children, after school activities can often run late. Have each parent provide a schedule with contact information to locate kids who don’t come out on time. Have a pre-set amount of time each parent will wait before leaving the school without all of the children. Help teach kids responsibility by making them accountable for showing up on time or contacting the carpooling parent if they are running late, as it is not the carpooling parent’s responsibility to chase down kids who are late.
6. Music can be a hot button in some homes, be sure to discuss music preferences at your initial parent carpooling meeting. Only play age-appropriate music. Avoid music with negative connotations.
7. Assigned seating can reduce conflict when it comes to who sits where. If you are transporting kids with motion sickness take that into consideration with child placement. Taking turns sitting in the front seat will help cut down on fighting over riding shotgun.
8. Have a predetermined place to meet the kids each day. Younger kids can get frustrated and stressed out if they don’t immediately see a car they recognize. Have a backup plan in case you are late to communicate to the kids as to where to meet you. Update school officials with a list of children each parent is responsible for transporting.
9. Notify the driving parent if your child is sick or goes home early due to a doctor’s appointment so they are not left waiting.
10. Be aware of car seat requirements in your state, and ensure you have proper car seats for each child you are transporting. If the child does not require a car seat, make sure they are properly belted in.
Carpooling will help to make activities easier as we begin a fresh New Year. With a great product and some sound advice from an actual Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, a parent’s life can be that much easier. Good luck and happy travels!