How to Protect Your Car from Children

A parent has a plethora of things to worry about, and the safety of our children and their general wellbeing comes above all else. However, kids do have a tendency to make a mess, especially during their younger years before they have learned what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour. This is never more relevant than in regards to the family car. Left to their own devices, children can indeed cause all kinds of damage, from creating sticky messes, to being too rough with delicate components. So with that being said, we’ve put together a few tips for you as a guide on just how to protect your car from children.

Buy the right car

Owning the right vehicle may appear to be obvious advice, but this is an important part of ensuring the right environment for ferrying around your family. Choosing the perfect Ford car for you and your brood, such as avoiding convertibles, and folding seats, and instead going for something safe, roomy and sturdy, will be a step in the right direction. The fact that your kids won’t have to clamber over seats with their muddy shoes to get in the back, or be able to fiddle with the soft top over their heads, will most certainly put you on the right path.

Don’t leave children unattended

Again, this might not be revelatory, but do not leave your child unattended in the car, not only to keep them safe from themselves and external influences, but to help protect your precious vehicle. Leaving a child alone in the back of your car is asking for trouble, and upon your return you are likely to find all kind of scraps and messes to clean up. If you are able to watch your child, you greatly increase your chances of stopping them from wreaking havoc.

Seat covers

Seat covers are certainly an excellent idea for protecting your car from messy children. Attaching a cover over your kids’ seats, something that can be cleaned easily itself, will help to prevent sticky messes, mud, and spilt drinks from staining the vehicle. Euro Car Parts provide a selection of seat covers to help protect your car, such as the Streetwize Waterproof covers which help guard against water, oil, grease, paint, mud and myriad other messes. Picking up an item like this will go a long way in your efforts.

Keep towels in the car

rolled up towles

Keeping a towel in your car at all times is essential, and no, this isn’t just to clean up the dog after a trip to beach! A towel will come in handy when one of your children inevitably succumbs to car sickness or other illnesses during a journey and vomits all over the place. You will be very thankful if you have something on hand to mop them and your car up with. Cleaning up messes quickly will be key to preserving your vehicle. With this in mind, some wet wipes stored way will be handy as well.

Sick bags

In the vein of combatting your children’s illness, making sure that you have some sick bags ready to pass along to your kids will help in your childproofing efforts. As long as your children are old enough to understand the idea of using them, having your kids vomit inside one of these easily disposable items instead of on your car’s interiors will be highly preferable. Lewis’s Medical Supplies have such items available, offering a pack of 50 plastic lined sickness bags with wire ties for sealing after use. Make sure to pick some of these up to save yourself from tears down the road.

Be careful with food and drink

Amy, from the parenting blog Everything Mummy, a person who knows a thing or two about the joys of raising kids, having three of her own, was on hand to give us some excellent tips for protecting your car from children.

“Number 1 tip - Don’t let them eat in the car!” Amy says, jokingly. “No, but seriously, if we’re on long journeys, I put things in little pots to avoid wrappers getting thrown around. I go for dry food items: rice cakes/raisins (anything that can be hoovered up easily).”

This is certainly sensible advice. If your kids must eat in the car, giving them food that can easily be cleaned up will be important indeed.

No pens in the car

blue pen

No pens in the car. Ever. This should be a solid rule for all families and those travelling frequently with children. Pens might be good entertainment for them, and useful for you, but young kids are never likely to behave for long, and you will soon recoil in horror after they have drawn on your seats and other interiors. It’s just not worth the hassle. Save drawing and colouring time for at home, and provide them something else for entertainment.

Keep them entertained/busy

Speaking of entertainment, keeping the kids happy and busy during your car journey is key to helping protect your car. If they are focused on having fun (sensible fun of course) they are unlikely to seek out other, more destructive ways to amuse themselves.

Amy, from Everything Mummy, offers a couple of suggestions for accomplishing this based on her own experiences.

“For keeping the kids busy in the car, I like to make them up a backpack each. In there, I pop a couple of little toys, some colouring, stickers and their tablets.”

If your kids are happy, your car will be happy. So make sure to follow this advice, but without caving into every want and whim your kid can muster.

Park in a safe place

Don’t fall victim to myopia and think that your car is only in danger from children on the inside of the vehicle. When kids are playing outdoors accidents are always likely to occur at some point, and you will want to make sure your car is secure when this happens. If possible, park your car somewhere safe, away from gutters that may fall down and other potentially dangerous objects. The simple act of not parking right next to garage walls can help prevent doors being slammed open, causing damage.

Why this is all so important

If your kids are behaving themselves, and not causing chaos in the back of the car, you will have achieved the important task of not being distracted while you are driving – a task far more important than keeping your car clean.

Decide to Drive, who have the goal of helping people avoid all forms of distracted driving, spoke to us about what they do and the importance of keeping your eyes on the road.

“Orthopaedic surgeons—the specialists who put bones and limbs back together after road crashes and trauma—along with our partners, the automakers, would rather help all drivers “decide to drive” each time they get in the car and to keep bones and limbs intact.

“No matter what our level of expertise is behind the wheel, we are all prone to even the smallest distractions. Our decisions while driving do affect others on the road and the passengers in our vehicles. We need to decide to drive and keep our eyes on the road.

“Intense conversations with passengers, not just children, could be a distraction. The AAOS and the Auto Alliance encourage all drivers to simply stop your vehicle—in a safe area—any time there is a distraction that needs your attention, such as retrieving items, having an involved discussion, reading, or disciplining a child.

“The Decide to Drive campaign’s original TV PSA highlights how a small distraction could have big consequences.”