The school year is already here for many families and rapidly approaching for the rest. This will be an unprecedented time for everyone, with remote learning, odd school hours, and new rules on how kids interact with each other. One thing that probably won’t change all that much is the morning ride to school, at least for the families that drop off in person. For those people, making the drive to school themselves can be one way to reduce the stress of crowded bus rides, but it’s important to be prepared for the drive, especially if you’re carpooling or transporting children from other families to and from school. Let’s take a look at a few things that can make carpooling much safer and easier for everyone involved.
Carry Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer won’t solve every problem, but it’s a great stand-in when there’s no way to wash hands. Almost any brand will do the job, but be sure to research recalls and safety warnings, and make sure the hand sanitizer you pick contains at least 60 percent alcohol. You’ll also find that the internet is full of rumors of hand sanitizers catching fire in hot cars. That’s not something you’ll need to worry about, but storing alcohol-based products in a warm car can lessen their effectiveness as the active ingredients evaporate quickly. Keep a small bottle in your vehicle and refill as necessary.
Wet Wipes to the Rescue
Parents will no doubt be nodding their heads to this one, since they’re a godsend for nearly any child-related situation. Wet wipes are, without a doubt, one of the best things to carry in your vehicle, regardless of whether or not you have kids. Some wipes contain an alcohol solution that acts as a disinfectant and many others are moistened to make cleaning hands and vehicle surfaces much easier. Just like hand sanitizer, the liquid in wet wipes can evaporate over time, so you’ll need to check them occasionally to make sure they haven’t dried out.
Spare Masks Save the Day
If you’re like us, there are still times when you’re in the car heading to your destination, only to realize halfway there that you forgot a mask. Keeping a few extras in your vehicle will help you make sure you’re always prepared, but they’re even more useful if you end up carpooling with other parents for the school year. Kids don’t always remember masks, so your extra stash can be a lifesaver for them.
No judgment here, but you’ll want to keep up with regular cleaning of your vehicle. Even if your kids are clean and don’t leave crumbs and trinkets behind, you’ll want to clean your car regularly. Viruses and other germs can survive for a surprisingly long time on surfaces, and the inside of your vehicle is one of the most high-touch areas you’ll come into contact with on a daily basis. Make sure to wipe interior surfaces with an automotive-safe cleaning product. Alcohol- and bleach-based cleaners can damage materials like leather and vinyl, but the cleaning agents in many auto-safe products can kill viruses almost as well.