Keep Your Kids Cool in the Car This Summer

Keep Your Kids Cool in the Car This Summer

Keeping your kids cool in the car this summer isn’t just a matter of personal comfort. Young children are more susceptible to extreme temperatures than adults, and the consequences of overheating can be serious. Whether you’re planning a family road trip this summer or simply using the car for family errands, you’ll find these tips for keeping your car cool useful.

1. Use a baby seat sun shade.

You’ve seen auto sun shades, of course. They are usually silver and they sit on top of your dashboard to shade the interior of your car while you grocery shop, etc. Now available are baby seat sun shades. The idea is the same. Place this inexpensive shade cover over the baby seat when not in use. The cover will keep baby’s seat cool, preventing the plastic from heating up in the sun and burning baby’s hands when you strap him in.

2. Have your car windows tinted.

Obviously the windows are where most of the sun’s rays come in and heat up the car. As you’re driving, the sun on baby’s side of the car can actually cause sunburn or at least discomfort and elevated temperatures. Although many parents opt for suction cup window shades, these aren’t entirely effective. As you drive, or the sun moves across the sky, the shade won’t offer 100% protection.

Permanent window tinting is a better option. You can have window tinting installed after market at an automotive dealership for a nominal cost. Depending on the laws in your state, you may not be able to have the front and rear windows tinted, but it’s the side windows you’re concerned about anyway. Tinted windows will reduce inside temperatures considerably.

3. Maintain your car’s air conditioning.

Every spring, strive to have your car’s air conditioning system checked. Unless there’s a leak in the system, you should have plenty of coolant to make your air conditioning work, but other problems can impede air flow. Have your mechanic check your filters, and ensure all the operating switches are functioning properly. Aim one of the side vents toward the back seat, so your children can experience some of the cooler air flow.

4. Tow ice water along with you.

Whenever you leave for a longer road trip, bring a large water jug filled with water and ice cubes. The ice cubes will melt soon enough in the heat, but they will serve to keep the water cool. Make sure your kids drink plenty to stay hydrated and refreshed, and don’t forget to top off on the cold water when you visit gas station mini-marts.

Above all, remember never to leave your child alone in the car, even for a few seconds. It’s easy to lose track of time when you run errands, and those few extra minutes could be critical.

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