Tips to Travel Safely with Your Family this Holiday Season

by Kids In Danger (KID)

safety-firstAs the holiday season approaches, travel safety should be on every family’s radar, whether you are driving a couple of hours for Thanksgiving dinner or flying to another country for a long winter break. Ensure a safe and smooth trip this year for your entire family by informing yourself about travel safety at every age.

All infant essentials, from bedtime to playtime, should meet current safety standards. Check to make sure any new cribs meet the current federal safety standards – especially if you’re using a hotel or motel crib. Play yards, bassinets, and other durable products should also meet current standards and be checked for hazards. Remember, as always, that your baby should sleep on their back in a completely empty crib — #BareIsBest.

Toddler’s curiosity and newly developed motor skills can cause them to climb or reach for items on top of furniture, posing a significant tip-over hazard. Wherever you’re travelling, make sure that the furniture in your new environment is anchored and secured. If not, never leave your child alone in a room with unsecured furniture or put anything on the dresser a child might try to reach – such as toys, remotes or other intriguing items. For tips and more information, see KID’s furniture hazard page and the CSPC’s “Anchor It!” campaign.

If your child is a preschooler, you may consider toys and other forms of entertainment for long travel. Take steps to ensure these toys are safe and avoid choking hazards by checking your products for recalls. Your children will be in new environments if you travel this winter, so you should be even more alert to the risks of new toys and games, including any choking hazards. Refer to this KID resource for more details to keep your children safe!

When traveling with children of any age, car seat safety is of the utmost importance. Ensure that any safety seats haven’t been recalled or previously involved in a crash, and are appropriate for your child’s height and weight. Due to the cold weather, you may be tempted to strap your child into their car seat wearing a winter coat or other bulky clothing to keep them warm. However, that extra padding will flatten out in a car crash, leaving a dangerous space between the harness and your child’s body. Try using thin layers, and use a coat or blanket over the straps. See this AAP resource for more extensive tips on this topic. During a road trip, be sure to take breaks for you and your child, and never leave them unattended.

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