What better way to spend time with the people you love most than going on a family vacation? It gives you a chance to relax, enjoy quality time together and create some fabulous memories. If you have children, it can make time away even more special but, it doesn’t come without its dangers.
From minor injuries to more serious accidents, there are many hazards you need to be mindful of to ensure your kids are protected.
Here are 8 tips for keeping children safe on vacation.
A swimming pool may be a fun place to play, but it is also one of the biggest hazards when on a family vacation. If your children can not yet swim, make sure they wear appropriate floatation devices such as a swimming ring or armbands.
If you have older kids, check the pool depths, both top, and bottom, and warn them about diving or jumping into water that may be too shallow. It takes seconds for a child to be hurt or drown, so you must keep an eye on them.
If you have young kids and intend to hire a car when you reach your destination, make sure they are fitted with an appropriate car seat for their height and weight. Many car rental companies will supply these free of charge, but it’s a good idea to contact them in advance and find out the exact specifications.
When traveling abroad, car seat regulations may not be as stringent so, if you are in any doubt at all, take your car seat with you. Most airlines will allow you to take one with you for no additional cost. This will give you peace of mind that your child will be safe – just like they are at home.
Exercise caution around dogs
Exercising caution around dogs is particularly important when they have no owner as they could be stray or harboring a disease. They may look cute or friendly, but you never know how a dog will react to a child getting too close or attempting to pet it.
According to dog bite attorneys Lamber Goodnow, a child getting bitten by a dog is often about more than just the bite. As well as long-term scarring and healing, they may also have to contend with emotional damage and require psychological therapy to help them deal with the aftermath. That is not, of course, to say that all dogs are a threat, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Be careful in the sun
If you are off for a relaxing break in the sun, don’t forget to apply sunscreen regularly. Children’s skin is far more sensitive and prone to burning than adults, so to avoid any short or long-term damage, apply lotion every hour or two. As well as checking the SPF, find out its UV protection too – the higher, the better. It will help to protect them from the sun’s harmful rays and reduce the risk of burning.
It is always a good idea to stay out of the sun between midday and 2 pm when the sun is at its strongest, so it’s a perfect opportunity to have a break, grab some lunch or sit indoors for a while. Sun hats are also a good idea, and if you want to protect their whole bodies, why not buy a full-body swimsuit with UV protection built-in.
Get to know the area
Knowing your surroundings is always a good idea, so, before you depart, do a bit of research. There may be certain areas that it is best to avoid or places that are not ideally suit for children, so take to the internet or buy a guidebook in advance and find out what you can. Kids can sense when their parents feel uneasy or worried, so the safer you feel traveling around, the more content your children will be too.
If you intend to drive during your stay, make sure you take a sat nav or have maps on your smartphone. Asking for directions in a location you are not familiar with is probably not ideal.
Take a picture every morning
No one wants to consider the possibility of their child wandering off or going missing, but it can happen. If it does, then the more accurate a description you have of them, the better. Every morning just before you are about to head out, take a picture of them.
If anything should happen, you will remember what they were wearing and use the photograph to show police or anyone helping to find them.
Accommodation with balcony
If you are residing in accommodation on an elevated floor with a balcony, explain the associated dangers to your kids. If they are too little to understand instructions, watch them at all times. Many toddlers who are just finding their feet love to climb, which could prove very dangerous, so it’s best to never let them out of your sight.
Most hotels and other accommodation will have to comply with strict guidelines in terms of balcony safety, but it’s best to check yourself that any railings are secure and that the area is as safe as it can be.
Does your child have food allergies?
If your child has allergies, it can be a bit of a worry when dining out – particularly if you are traveling to a country that talks a different language. Before you reach your destination, write down a translation of any foods your children are allergic to so that you can accurately communicate them to the hotel or any restaurants you may visit.
It’s also advisable to take antihistamines with you in the event that any of the food doesn’t agree with them. The last thing you need when trying to enjoy your vacation is your child having an allergic reaction, however, if you are prepared, things should go without a hitch.