This post is sponsored by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation.
Safety is important, even on vacation. Use these 33 tips for keeping your kids safe on vacation to have a fun and safe vacation with the family.
33 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Safe on Vacation
Safety is always important, even on vacation, and especially when young children are involved. Safety at home is one thing, but vacations and traveling pose a new set of issues to be aware of.
I’m excited to be partnering with the Up and Away campaign for National Safety Month in June to share some vacation safety tips for kids around bringing and safely storing medicines and vitamins. Approximately 60,000 children are brought to emergency rooms each year because they get into medicine that was left out where they could reach it. Keep your kids out of the E.R. is by learning to handle medications safely.
It’s important to keep safety in mind, especially on vacation when you’re in a new and different environment. We’ll be using these same safety tips as we head off on vacation next week with our young children.
33 Vacation Safety Tips for Kids
Before You Go
1. Check your kids’ vaccination records. Be sure your kids are up to date on their vaccines, especially if you’re traveling internationally. They may also need additional vaccines that are not included in the normal schedule if traveling to certain areas, so check with your doctor or travel agency about which additional vaccines are recommended.
2. Have a medical plan in place. If your child gets sick, you’ll want to make sure you already know how to handle it. Try to contact your doctor back home, or contact the U.S. embassy for a recommendation. You can also go to iamat.org to be connected to an English-speaking doctor in over 90 countries.
3. Talk to your pediatrician about your itinerary, especially if you’ll be traveling internationally. Your pediatrician can inform you of any health risks, diseases, or precautions to take depending on the area you’ll be traveling to.
4. Take your child’s picture before you leave. Print it out to bring with you, and keep a digital copy on your phone or camera memory card. This way you’ll have a current photo in case of emergency.
5. Talk to your child about TSA Safety Procedures. If they’ve never flown before, the process can be unnerving. Talk to them about it beforehand to reassure them and make sure everything goes smoothly.
6. Keep medications and vitamins in their original childproof containers when packing. Pill organizers and baggies are not as secure and are easier for kids to get into.
On the Way
7. Your child must always be buckled or in a car seat (depending on their age and weight) in a moving vehicle. A long road trip isn’t an excuse for not buckling up. If you child is growing restless during your drive, stop at a rest stop, restaurant, or park for 15 minutes to let him burn off some energy and stretch his legs.
8. All children need their own seats on an airplane. Children under the age of 2 or under 40 pounds should be buckled with child restraint seats. You can use your own car seat if it’s FAA approved (it should say on the label), and under 16 inches wide.
9. Don’t seat your child in the aisle. Children enjoy exploring new surroundings with their hands. Unfortunately, the aisle of an airplane is not a good place for curious fingers which could get hurt by a passer-by or serving cart.
10. Accompany your child on airplane potty trips. Especially with the newly potty-trained, potty trips can be a big enough ordeal without added problems like turbulence and strange surroundings.
11. Rent your car from a reputable agency. You can count on the safety and quality of the vehicle when renting from a well-known and trusted company, which is important when you’re transporting little ones.
In Large Crowded Areas
12. Discuss what to do if your child gets lost. We tell our children to stay where they are and find a mommy with kids with her to tell that they’re lost.
13. Teach your child to yell in emergency. Unfortunately, there’s lots of yelling in large parks and crowded areas. Tell your child to yell, “THIS IS NOT MY PARENT/MOM/DAD! HELP!” so that there’s no question that they’re in danger.
14. Discuss separation plans. No matter if you’ll be in a crowded park, large hotel, or even just using public transportation, discuss what to do if you get split up: where to go, who to talk to, etc.
15. Dress children in bright colors so they’re easier to spot. You can take it a step further and dress all your kids in the same bright color, or even have the whole family match.
16. Place hotel business cards in their pocket. Tell your kids you’re putting them in there so that if they’re too young to remember the hotel name or phone number, they can hand the card to security, or a mommy as I tell my children. You can also put your own personal business cards in their pockets with your number.
17. Find a way to attach contact information to the children. Whether it’s a bracelet, a temporary tattoo, a sharpie, or business cards, make sure your child has this information, and they know how to show someone if they need help.
18. Try to keep kids in the middle. If you’re on a trip with two or more adults, one of the easiest ways to keep kids from getting lost is sandwich them between adults. For example, Mom in front, followed by kids with Dad as the caboose. If you only have one adult, and multiple kids, make an unbreakable chain so no one gets lost.
At Your Hotel or Destination
19. Ask for a room on a lower level. Fire departments cannot easily fight fires above the eighth floor, no matter where you’re staying, so ask for a lower floor.
20. Check the hotel room before unpacking. Look for loose electrical wires, and check to make sure door and window locks work properly. Make sure shower doors and sliding doors are securely in place, and check for any sharp or protruding objects in the room. If you can’t quickly fix a simple issue, ask to see a different room.
21. If traveling with a baby or young toddler, ask about the hotel’s cribs. You want to find out if their cribs meet current safety standards, and also check for loose, missing, or cracked slats. Also consider bringing or purchasing a portable playard to use for the trip instead.
22. Childproof the hotel room. Outlet covers, doorknob covers, and toilet locks are all super easy to throw into your suitcase to childproof at your destination.
23. Bring duct tape. We all know duct tape fixes everything. It can also be used to quickly childproof a room by covering outlets, light switches, electric cords, and even sharp corners.
24. Even in a hotel, store medicines and vitamins in a location that your children cannot see or reach, such as a tall cabinet or shelf or the hotel room safe.
25. Make sure your child doesn’t answer the hotel room door. Inform your child that they need to go you or another grown-up with you to answer the door during your stay.
26. Do not leave young children in the hotel room by themselves, even just to run down the hall. If they’re not old enough to leave at home alone, they’re not old enough to leave in the hotel room alone.
27. Bring glow sticks. Not only are glow sticks super fun, they’re also an easy way to identify your children when it’s dark out.
Storing Vitamins and Medications for Travel
Medicines and vitamins are important to keep families healthy. I always bring our multi-vitamins, any prescriptions we’re on at the time, and my vitamin supplements to keep us feeling well, even on vacation. Plus, I always bring acetaminophen and ibuprofen, for the minor headache, bump, or bruise. But it’s important to bring medicines and vitamins with you safely, and store them properly once you reach your destination.
Children are naturally curious. They want to experience new things with all of their senses, including their mouth, which is usually a problem when it comes to medicines. This is especially true for medicines that look like they could be candy or fun.
Gummy vitamins and brightly colored pills both look like they could be delicious for innocent children. My daughter always wants me to share my vitamin D supplements above because she thinks they look like sparkling gems, so we’re sure to keep them up high and hidden. It’s important to talk to your children when you give them medicine to tell them what it is, why they only get a certain amount or a certain kind, and why they always need an adult to give it to them. Never tell your kids that medicine or vitamins are candy to get them to eat it.
Approximately 60,000 young children are brought to the emergency room each year because they got into medicines that were left within reach. Storing medications properly is always important, even on vacation. Below are ways to keep your kids safe with medicines and vitamins while traveling. Find out more about proper medicine storage and safety HERE at UpAndAway.org.
28. Keep medications and vitamins in their original child-resistant containers when packing. Pill organizers and baggies are not as secure and are easier for kids to get into.
29. Even in a hotel, store medicines and vitamins in a location that your children cannot see or reach, such as a tall cabinet or shelf or the hotel room safe.
30. Ask where to store your medicines and vitamins if you’re staying in someone else’s home. Anywhere that’s out of sight and reach of children, such as tall medicine cabinets, a high shelf in the closet, on top of the top kitchen cabinets, or on top of the fridge.
31. Never leave medications or vitamins out on a kitchen counter, bedside table, or anywhere else easily accessible to kids, even if you need it again in a few hours.
32. Always completely close the medicine bottle. Twist until it locks all the way after every single use.
33. Save the Poison Help number in all your family’s phones so you will have it quickly when you need it.
For Poison Help, dial 800-222-1222 or text POISON to 797979 to save the contact information in your phone.
For more information and tips about proper medicine storage, including a free coloring book about safety (that would be perfect to color in the car or on a plane for vacation!), visit UpAndAway.org.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation. The opinions and text are all mine.