Some days it seems we’re practically living in our cars. Having the right things on hand can make our lives that much easier.

As you’re going from soccer practice to dance and back again, make sure you have the kid-friendly “must-haves” in your vehicle. In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week, we’ve also included some important items to keep everyone safe.



Stock the basic travel items to keep everyone clean and comfortable.

  • Wipes: These include wet wipes to clean hands and faces as well as disinfecting wipes for surfaces such as car seats. Up your game with stain remover wipes for those “oops” moments.
  • Tissues: Travel packs are easy to store. Not only are they good for the sniffles, but they can also double as napkins after eating, or toilet paper if you’re in a bathroom that has run out.
  • A towel: Dry off, clean off, or use to cover a hot seat. Towels can even double as a blanket or a napkin in a pinch.
  • Scissors: These are helpful in case you need to cut a seatbelt in an emergency. In non-emergency situations, use them to cut open items that won’t easily tear.

Pro Tip: Use a laundry basket for the things going from the car into the house and back again. It’s especially useful for sports equipment.



Keep some extra things for everyone in your family.

  • Ponchos and/or umbrellas: You’ll want these for when you’re caught in the rain. You can find inexpensive disposable ponchos that do the trick.
  • Extra pair of clothes: Include a change of clothes with underwear, and a plastic bag for dirty or wet things.
  • Flip flops: It’s easier storing these than shoes for those times when your child splashes in muddy puddles. They’re more forgiving in size and you buy them on clearance.
  • Coats, sweatshirts, and blankets: These are great when the air conditioning is blasting, or the weather turns colder unexpectedly.


Snacks and Water

Sometimes plans change, or things take longer than you expected. This way, you’ll avoid the question, “can we stop somewhere for dinner?”

  • Snacks: Stock child-friendly snacks and update even nonperishable ones regularly.
  • Self-serve containers: Invest in spill-proof cups and containers that enable toddlers and young children to serve themselves.
  • Water: Choose reusable bottles, filled with fresh water to keep everyone hydrated. Water is also helpful when someone has sticky hands or sandy/dirty feet.
  • Trash bag: You want a place where the kids can throw their trash. Disposable plastic or paper bags are good options. Make sure to empty them often.



Keep them occupied with their favorite activities so that you can stay focused on the road.

  • Shoe box of toys: Let them decorate a shoe box and choose their favorite toys for the car. Include crayons and add some coloring books to your bag of books, below.
  • Reading: Pack a bag of books for every age level. Consider audio books for longer trips.
  • Power converter: Charge everything from phones to kids’ tablets to portable DVD players.
  • Restaurant backpack: Stopping to eat? Fill a backpack with toys and activities for kids to use at the restaurant.



We recognize Child Passenger Safety Week each September. It’s a reminder to keep safety in mind when we’re on the road.

  • LifeVac anti-choking device: Enjoying snacks in the car? This rescue suction device can save a life in a choking emergency.
  • Safewise seat alarm: This device detects when you open a back door before starting the engine. It sounds a chime, then issues escalating reminders so that you won’t accidentally leave a child behind in a hot car.
  • First aid kit: From band aids to antibiotic ointments, chances are you’re going to have to take care of minor injuries on the road. Make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked with the items you need. Include a first aid manual for those situations where you’re not exactly sure what to do.
  • Emergency roadside kit: Make sure you’re fully prepared in case you get stuck or stranded. Flares, flashlights, and jumper cables are good things to have in your emergency car kit.


Teach your children safety in and around vehicles for added protection. Finally, protect your car with the right insurance. It will give you peace of mind as you take care of your most precious cargo—your children. Safe travels.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614.

California Casualty

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