School-Season Conundrum: How to Travel Safely this Fall
As August winds down, schools are beginning to start back up. And, whether your child is attending virtually or in-person, this means there is going to be more traffic and bustling about. But don’t panic, prepare instead. With the right precautions in place, you and your children can travel safely as we try to navigate the months ahead.
Carpooling is a great way to save some money, help the environment, and socialize, but during a pandemic it is important to know the right protocol, and for everyone involved to follow it consistently.
The first step to a safe carpool is making sure everyone is aware of the situation we are in, and all are on board to work together to keep everyone safe. Begin by contacting the other passengers and drivers who will be in the carpool. There is no need to panic, but you do need to be sure everyone in the car will be wearing a mask, and there will be enough room so that each person can sit without leaning into or resting on another passenger.
It’s also a good idea to have everyone involved agree to take temperatures each day before entering the vehicle. Be sure and have plenty of hand sanitizer, and make it a rule to use it before entering and again immediately after getting out of the car.
Here are a few more tips from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:
- Try and keep from touching surfaces. Consciously taking into account what is most touched in your surroundings will help you cut down on using hand sanitizer as much. For those cases when you do have to touch something commonly handled, simply apply sanitizer or wash your hands as soon as possible. While carpooling, avoiding surfaces is especially difficult, so wearing gloves is a good idea.
- Limit the number of passengers. Though it might cause multiple trips or even more cars on the road, it is important to create space even in confined spots. Consider cutting the limit to half of what it was before and require everyone in the car to wear a mask during the trip.
- Weather permitting, keep windows open or cracked so plenty of air gets in and out. Good ventilation is key to keep from the spread of germs.
- Clean those hands. After touching surfaces outside of your own home, be sure to use sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Or, if you would rather use soap, wash in warm water for at least 20 seconds.
More Safety Tips
Here are a few more tips on keeping your young ones safe as you travel:
- Make sure car seats are tightly secured and wiped down with disinfectant between each use. When clipping in a car seat it is important to make sure it is pulled tightly against the back of the seat. Sometimes you really have to wrench on the belt, but if you can wiggle the seat back and forth with minimal effort, it’s not tight enough.
- When strapping your child into a car seat, be sure the top strap is pulled up to the top of the child’s chest. You should be able to fit two fingers between the top strap and the child, so it needs to be snug but not too tight to where it’s uncomfortable.
- Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel. No matter how badly your child is screaming for a toy he dropped on the floor of the car, do not try and reach around or turn around to grab it. If it is something your child needs at the moment, simply pull the car over and put on the hazards. It might only take a second to look back and grab that toy while driving, but it also only takes a second to completely veer into the opposite lane.
This fall might just be the strangest return to school our students have ever been a part of, but with the proper attitude and preparedness, we will make it through successfully! At Mount Airy Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we care about the well-being of our customers, which is why we are committed to following all proper precautions necessary to keep a safe and healthy atmosphere. Come see us today, or visit us online at clickmountairy.com