Clamber Club and Safeway have teamed up to help parents and children enjoy a safe, stimulating and stress-free car journey every time. The Happy Traveller Campaign, which launched in Baby City stores nationwide in September 2015, offers a free Clamber Club Car Sanity Saver CD (valued at R80) with selected Safeway car seats purchased.
Safety is first priority
From the first time your baby goes home from the hospital, you as a parent are responsible for your child’s safety in a car. “We understand that safety is every parent’s number one concern and a correctly installed car seat is one way to assure your child’s safety whilst travelling in a car,” comments Elise Lustig, owner of Safeway Vehicle Restraints. In fact, a car seat could save your child’s life during an accident. Arrive Alive Research Data and Statistics on the importance of seatbelts and restraining toddlers in car seats reveal that when correctly installed and used, car seats can reduce the risk of death for infants by 70% and by 47–54% for children between one and four.
Car seat use is now compulsory for all children under the age of three in South Africa. Motorists who do not strap babies and toddlers in can expect to be fined under the new amendment of the National Road Traffic Act, which came into effect on 1 May 2015. “Every parent knows that their child’s safety is a number one priority, buying an appropriate car seat for your child’s weight, size and age is a huge step in the right direction,” Lustig advises.
A car seat should preferably be installed in the backseat of a vehicle. “However, if the front seat really is the only option, parents must make sure the passenger-side air bag is turned off,” Lustig adds. It is also important to correctly strap the child in so he/she is comfortable but snug. Before every trip, no matter how short, Lustig advises parents to check that the harness has been correctly adjusted to suit the child and the clothing he/she is wearing.
Banish travel boredom for your baby
Once your child is securely fastened into his/her car seat, it is time for the ‘fun’ to begin. “Going on a family holiday used to be quite a challenge for us as our four boys (ranging in age from eight months to nine years old) would get bored and start teasing each other and fighting. Inevitably, someone would end up in tears,” comments Jenny Shapiro, Clamber Club mom of Daniel, Elan, Tyler and Levi.
“Children often become frustrated when travelling in a car and this is when the whining and crying begins,” says Play Therapist, Kerry Skinner. For young children strapped into a car seat, this frustration is most often due to boredom rather than any physical discomfort. “But keep the child entertained, and you will have yourself a happy traveller!” she adds. “By using action-orientated songs and games, parents can turn a potentially unhappy situation into a positive and rewarding one,” comments Liz Senior, Occupational Therapist and Founder of Clamber Club.
Clamber Club has launched a range of ‘action songs for kids’ CDs, which are specially designed to stimulate babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. “The CDs are a natural extension of our Clamber Club programme, which is based upon child stimulation through action, music and fun,” says Senior. “Since introducing the Clamber Club Car Sanity Saver CD to the car, every journey with the boys is a joy!” adds Shapiro.
Keeping children entertained while in their car seats is not just for your sanity’s sake. It is also a subtle way for parents to show the child who is boss. “Instead of giving in to soothing the child, rewarding them with treats or heaven forbid, taking them out of their safety harness, parents are able to use song and the power of distraction to win this backseat war,” says Skinner.
“By using the Clamber Club music at the beginning of each journey, the child will form positive associations with their car seat and become a happy traveller. Fun will replace frustration and road trips will become everyone’s favourite family holiday,” Senior concludes.
Games to play in the car with your children:
Instead of relying solely on the use of tablets and in-car DVD screens, keep your children entertained with these fun activities:
• Play the Clamber Club Car Sanity Saver CD and let your child choose a toy for the actions
• Pack a toy bag (with your child’s help) or tie toys onto the car’s coat hooks or handles for easy access
• Play ‘I Spy’ together
• Introduce story time with props like finger puppets, dolls sock puppets and soft toys.
Clamber Club’s Car Sanity Saver Travel Tips
• Make sure the childproof mechanism of doors and windows is switched on
• Strap your child in – never sit with him/her on your lap
• Travel just before nap time
• Make an early start or travel at night
• Stop every two hours for a loo break and leg stretch!
Practical travel kit:
• Juice and water bottles
• Healthy snacks – raisins, cheese, fruit etc.
• First aid kit
• Spare plastic bag for nappies and rubbish
• A change of clothing for each child
• A small blanket and pillow for naptime.
Tips to avoid car sickness:
• Limit the intake of rich or greasy foods before and during the trip
• Pack dry biscuits or glucose (ginger biscuits are said to help with car sickness)
• If your child is very pale, open windows for fresh air or if possible, stop the car in a safe area
• Have a plastic bag ready just in case and keep a towel or wet cloth handy to place on your child’s forehead/stomach or wrists
• Keep your child occupied but discourage reading or looking at books.
More activities for in-car entertainment:
• Wrap some favourite toys into little parcels for surprises every half hour, after so many kilometres or at a particular town
• Pack a surprise bag filled with notebooks, crayons and playdough and hand them out one at a time during the journey
• Invest in magnetised games so the little bits and bobs don’t get lost!
• Let your child draw on windows with a white board marker (be sure to have a cloth and damp sponge on hand!)
• Play car spotting where each person is given a colour and the first to get to 10 of their colour is the winner
• Create a ‘feely bag’ by placing different objects in a bag and let your child feel and guess what each one is
• Play car cricket – choose different car models/colours for each game play. For example, a red car means ‘out’, a truck is a four and yellow is a six
• Play the ‘silence game’ and reward the child who stays silent the longest.
About Clamber Club
Clamber Club is an extensive and exciting sensory and perceptual motor learning and development program that encourages the joy of movement, play and exercise in babies, toddlers and young children. To learn more about Clamber Club please visit www.clamberclub.com.
About Safeway Vehicle Restraints
Safeway has been manufacturing car seats for children in the South African market since 1985. All car seats distributed by Safeway are compliant with International Standards which are updated from time to time. Safeway seats comply with the ECE R44 European Standard of Approval, which is the Safety Standard for Car Seats applicable in South Africa. Safeway products are “Created with Passion and Designed for Safety”.