Flickr Photo At: Nanette Turner
These days health and safety warnings, child safe products and even ‘kids first’ slogans are commonplace. We now know much more about which chemicals, food additives and even fibers aren’t good for our children’s health, but while your home is so clean you could eat off the floors what about the family car? On average, American families use their cars five times per week, driving kids to various activities, taking pets places and doing the grocery shopping.
Don’t Rely On An Air Freshener
Remember that strange, exotic new car smell everyone loves that smells of leather, glossy paper, and petrol mixed? Well, you may want to stop breathing it in every time you go into a showroom as it’s actually lots of chemicals, including styrene, diazinon, and even formaldehyde. Even if you’ve recently bought a new car with a flow master exhaust system still ensure plenty of air is circulating through the vehicle, you can do this on the road or driveway, and don’t rely on air fresheners to do the job for you as they can sometimes contain harmful toxins of their own. Until the new smell has faded, or gone completely, try not to park in direct sunlight as the heat accelerates the speed in which these chemicals are released.
Slide Windows Up In Traffic
Despite everyone knowing that exhaust fumes are dangerous for our health air pollution is, in fact, at an all time high. To minimize your children’s exposure to unpleasant smells and pollution from entering the car switch the air con on and wind the windows up. If you find yourself in traffic keep a couple of feet between you and the car in front. Not only is this good for health and safety reasons but you won’t get the full blast of pollutant chemicals through the vents. While on the highway if you’re stuck behind a big gas-guzzling Humvee, or noisy exhaust belching truck either take a different route, overtake him when you can or stay at a safe distance.
Give It A Good Vacuum
Cars accumulate dust and rubbish quicker than you know thanks to leaves, hair, skin particles and crumbs left behind. Your kids may have also have stuffed crisp packets, cookie boxes, and sticky sweet wrappers into seat pockets. As well as into side compartments and under floor mats so to avoid mold or dirt you should give your car, vents included, a full vacuum at least once every two weeks. Remove all garbage before using baby wipes and kid friendly cleaning sprays to wipe down the surfaces.
Run It Through A Car Wash
A few years ago it was common for older kids to help wash the family car and it was often turned into a bit of a game, or ended in a impromptu Sunday afternoon water fight but these days a car wash may be a better option. Vehicles carry all sorts of bacteria on their tires, bonnets and back windows which could make a child sick. Play it safe and take your car, kids included, to a garage car wash and then lock the doors, sitting back while your kids squeal with excitement as the big, furry rollers start to do their thing.