7 things every parent should keep in the car during the winter
2/15/2016 4:39:00 PM
Keep the following items in your vehicle all winter long.

7 things every parent should keep in the car during the winter

Beaumont Health

7 things every parent should keep in the car during the winter


With frigid temperatures and wintery weather upon us, road conditions and our vehicles can often be unpredictable. This is particularly concerning if you travel frequently with children in the car.

The specialized Beaumont Children’s pediatric emergency units see many injuries related to motor vehicle crashes and cold temperatures this time of year. One way to help your family stay safe is to pack an emergency bag with supplies and tools that will stay in your car all winter long, keeping you prepared for the unexpected on the road.

Keep the following items in your vehicle all winter long:



Heavy snow and ice can keep you from seeing and being seen in wintery weather. Be sure to thoroughly clear front, back and side windows, all mirrors, headlights and taillights as well. Clearing as much snow as possible from the roof of your car is also important.

Winter hat, waterproof gloves and scarf


Hats, gloves and scarves will help you to use and conserve your own body heat to stay warm. Be sure to pack them for you, your children and any others who may be traveling with you. If stranded by road conditions, experts recommend staying in your vehicle and waiting for help, if possible. Staying in your car and keeping your hazard lights on as long as possible makes it easier to locate you. Also, make sure snow is not obstructing the tailpipe of your vehicle.

Wool or fleece blanket


This conserves extra body heat and provides warmth. Again, pack enough for you and for your young passengers.

Empty coffee can, pillar candle, matches and lighter


If your family becomes stranded, lighting the candle will provide light and some warmth. The metal can keeps the flame protected and will also conduct heat from the flame that can be used to keep hands warm.

Non-perishable snacks and water


Pack nuts, crackers, granola or cereal bars for nourishment and bottled water for hydration in case you are stranded for an extended period of time.

Flashlight with extra batteries


This will not only help you to see in the dark, but it will also help first responders/rescuers to locate you if needed.

Cell phone cord and car charger


Your cell phone can be your lifeline. Use it to call for help and to identify your exact location for rescuers. Use your phone wisely and conserve your battery. If stranded, don’t use your phone’s battery power for “extras” like listening to music or playing games. Use charger each time the engine is turned on for warmth to “double” the benefit of gasoline usage.

Shovel and kitty litter


The shovel will come in handy if you need to dig yourself out. The kitty litter will help your tires gain traction in the snow if you find yourself stuck.

In addition to stocking your emergency winter travel pack, you can take other precautions to keep you and your family safe in winter weather. Keep windshield wiper fluid and gas tanks between half-full and full at all times. Wear warm, insulated and deep treaded boots each time you go out. Listen often to weather and traffic reports and stay home, if possible, when severe weather is reported for your area and route.