With summer just around the corner, families are gearing up for a summer filled with travel both near and far – camping trips, days spent at the beach, trips to see grandparents, or plane rides to fun destinations. Whether your trip is just across town or across the Atlantic Ocean, follow these easy travel tips to ensure your trip is a safe one:
- Scan your travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance, immunization information, list of medications, etc.) and email them to yourself rather than keeping a photocopy in your bags/luggage. Make a list of important health/emergency information to keep with you while you travel.
- Make sure that your children are in approved child safety seats as required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Infants (under 20 lbs.) should be in rear-facing convertible seats with harness straps at or below shoulder level, toddlers (20-40 lbs.) should be in forward-facing convertible seats with harness straps at or above shoulders and young children (more than 40 lbs.) should use a forward-facing, belt positioning booster seat with the lap belt fitting low and tight across the lap/upper thigh area and shoulder belt snug across the chest and shoulder.
- Always pack a first aid kit containing items such as pain reliever (for children & adults), thermometer, anti-itch lotion, bug bite/sting cream, instant ice pack, sunscreen, bug spray, motion sickness tabs and Band-Aids.
- If you’re traveling a distance, such as internationally, it’s a good idea for the family to get checked over by a doctor prior to leaving. Make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date before taking off.
- If staying at a hotel or someone’s home, bring childproofing supplies, such as electrical outlet covers and travel baby gates to protect your child in a new environment. Be aware that cribs or play yards provided by hotels may not meet current safety standards. If you have any doubt about the safety of the crib or play yard, ask for a replacement or consider other options (for example, put a mattress on the floor).
- Anticipate that your child might get lost, and instruct your kids to go to an agreed-upon safe place and stay there, should it happen. Dress your kids in distinctive or brightly colored clothes to make them more visible and write down your contact information on an index card and place it in your kids’ pockets to make contacting you easier.
- Whether traveling by car or plane, it’s always a good idea to take along extra toys and activities to keep your child busy. Pack snacks and drinks for the family in the event you have a long layover or car trouble.
- When traveling by car, keep the following stashed in your trunk in the event of an emergency: jumper cables, flares, blankets, water, fire extinguisher, mini tire compressor, basic tools, rope/bungee cord and a flashlight.