5 Kid-Friendly Car Features

On long car trips, one way to combat the unending chorus of “are we there yet” is to keep your kids busy, content, well hydrated, and well-fed. The right vehicle can assist you in doing all these things. For parents or anyone who travels long distances with kids, here’s a list of five kid-friendly car features.

1. Give Them Space

One of the most basic, yet most important, kid-friendly features is plenty of room in the back seat. Children need room in and around their seat for the items they like to bring on trips, such as pillows, art supplies, stuffed animals, and other toys. Cars, vans, or SUVs that have cup holders for the back seats and storage bins are definitely kid-friendly because they help children organize and track their belongings. A vehicle with a latch for holding a trash bag also helps organize the kids’ area and keep their seats tidy.

2. Keep the Temperature Comfortable

Dual-zone climate controls allow you to set the temperature for the back of the cabin separately. If mom and dad don’t like the air as cool as the kids do, this is a great solution for keeping everyone at a comfortable temperature.

Another kid-friendly feature that controls the temperature is an integrated sunshade. Typically, these shades stay tucked inside a slit in the back doors. When you need them, you pull them up and secure them to hooks at the top of the door. Retractable shades are especially useful if a child falls asleep on the sunny side of the car.

3. Let Them Enjoy the Built-in Entertainment Systems

Nothing passes the time in a car like screentime. Some sedans, minivans, SUVs, and crossovers have built-in entertainment systems, which kids love. Depending on the set-up, you can allow them to play video games or watch a movie either on a central screen or small, individual screens attached to the backs of chairs. More sophisticated systems allow each kid to choose his or her programming. Almost all entertainment systems allow you to listen through headphones rather than filling the cabin with sound from the movie or video game.

4. Love the Wi-Fi

Even without built-in entertainment systems, a vehicle with a hot spot for wireless internet access is enough to let your kids use a smartphone or tablet to connect to the internet. From there, they can find their own entertainment such as kid-appropriate videos, games, and articles.

5. Look for Safety Restraints and Air Bags

Anytime you have a child riding in your vehicle, you want to do all you can to keep that child safe. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) restraints for child safety seats ensure kids are properly secured. In a larger vehicle, you want to make sure there are side-curtain airbags for every row of seats.

When you’re shopping for a family vehicle, these are some of the features you want in your next car, SUV, or minivan. They’ll make lengthy road trips more bearable for your children, which in turn will make them more pleasant for you.

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