Family Travel Safety Tips3 min read
As exciting as it is to plan a big family vacation, it can also be stressful for a number of reasons. From general safety concerns to getting through security without a hitch, it’s no wonder parents are ridden with worries and plagued by sleepless nights prior to traveling.
To ensure your trip is a little bit safer and a little less stressful, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
On the Airplane:
- Get to the airport early. And I mean extra early. This will give you and your family plenty of time to get through security, which may be a particularly tedious task if you have young children.
- Bring toys and healthy snacks to keep your child entertained during the flight.
- To decrease ear pain caused by air pressure changes, have an infant nurse or suck on a bottle when the plane is taking off and landing. For older children, encourage them to chew gum or drink liquids with a straw.
- Bring hand sanitizer to prevent germs from spreading and encourage your kids to wash their hands frequently.
- Consult your pediatrician before flying with an infant or newborn with a chronic heart or lung problem, or respiratory problems. The same applies if your child has had an ear infection or ear surgery within the last two weeks of departure.
In The Car:
- Always use an appropriate car seat for infants and young children.
- If you’re using a car seat from a rental car company, make sure it’s the right size for your child.
- Children who outgrow their car seat should sit in a booster until the car’s seat belt properly fits (this is usually when the child reaches 4’9” and is between eight and 12 years old).
- Never leave your child alone in the car under any circumstances. The temperature inside the vehicle can become fatal in only in a few minutes.
- Make sure your child is up-to-date on his routine vaccines and find out if your child needs additional ones before traveling to a foreign country. In some cases, they may be mandatory.
- Adjust your child’s sleep schedule a few days before leaving for your trip to help him avoid jet lag. Once you arrive at your destination, be sure to spend plenty of time outside in the daylight to help him further adjust to the time difference.
- Road travel can be extremely dangerous in other countries. If you’ll be getting around by car, make sure your child is wearing her seatbelt and/or is using an appropriate car safety seat.
- Carefully inspect the hotel room for paint chips, exposed wiring, or other hazards. Conditions may not be up to par with your expectations.
- Cribs provided by hotels might not meet your safety standards. If you have any doubts, ask for a replacement or consider putting a mattress on the floor.
In all cases, pack a health kit for your family, as well as clean water, hand wipes, bug spray, and anti-itch ointment. To be on the safe side, you might also want to consider health travel insurance, which can give you access to greater medical care in case of an emergency. If anything, you’ll at least have peace of mind.
Photo from Shell Vacations Hospitality.