Top 5 safety tips for vacations with kidsthis blog is brought to you by guest contributor Zyana Morris, Health and Lifestyle blogger.
As parents we never want to see our child sick or injured, even though we know it’s a part of life with kids. We also have nightmares about worse-case scenarios and we stress about how to protect them from harm. Of course, as parents it’s our job to make safety a top-priority. At no time is this more important than when we’re on vacation with our kids. In strange or unfamiliar territory, or when distracted, parents and children can easily become separated or injured.
For your next holiday be sure to put safety first and give yourself additional peace of mind by adopting these five tips to keep your kids safe when travelling.
1. Use cell phones or tracking devices
Even if you are not yet ready to handover a fully-functioning smart phone to a pre-teen, you can certainly buy them a cheaper pre-paid phone for emergencies. Make sure they keep it on them and instruct them on how to get ahold of you. In my day we kept quarters and dimes for the pay phones (local calls were 35 cents) – my, how times have changed.
For younger kids, tracking devices can be easily slipped into their pants’ pocket or backpack. Of course you still need to keep an eye on them, but you will have additional peace of mind knowing you can pinpoint their location pretty quickly should they wander off.
2. Know your route ahead of time
If you are planning a long vacation, or trekking to an unfamiliar city, be sure to map out your route before you leave. Not only will this save you time and headache from missed exits, U-turns and other lengthy delays, but you can plan your meals and breaks on schedule, and at the best locations. This will allow you a more relaxed and joyful vacation as you’ll have more time to take in the sights and experience the flavor of travel.
Do always give yourself plenty of extra time to load, unload, check in, catch your flights, and more. My great-grandfather always used to say “leave enough time to stub your toe” – and he’s right of course. We have a more tranquil journey when we aren’t stressed about making it somewhere on a rushed and harried basis. Easy-going is much more fun!
3. Have a meet-up plan
Around Easter break my family used to take yearly visits to see my grandparents in Los Angeles and many times we were actually at Disneyland on Easter day. In those days I had a watch and a map of Disneyland, but of course nowadays kids have cell phones. Even so, in case the phone is lost or stolen, always create pre-set meet up times and locations at which you all agree to reconnect. It usually works well to plan on meeting up at a nearby restaurant for meals – because what’s more fun than sharing a great meal with family at a new restaurant on vacation?
4. Document your child's clothes
At the start of any outing – and especially if you are going to be headed to a crowded space, be sure to dress your child in bright clothing so they’re easier to spot, and make a note of their outfit as well. Make it a habit to take a quick picture of them as they head off on their own.
In fact, this is a great idea for all parents to adopt on regular days as well, not just weekend and holiday days. A quick picture at school drop-off only takes a second. You just never know when you might have to quickly recall what your child was last wearing, and in a frazzled state it’ll be hard to remember.
5. First aid
No matter where you go, be sure to pack a first-aid kit to help you out in case of emergency. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re able to treat a variety of minor injuries on the spot. Being prepared may mean that you are able to help a stranger out as well.
What type of kit you need depends on how prepared you want to be, how remote your vacation spot, and your budget. Quality, well-stocked first aid kits start at around $30 and go up from there depending on how elaborate you want your supplies to get. Your first aid kit will give you the peace of mind you need to let your kids do what they do on vacation best - have fun!
Many of these tips only take a few minutes to implement, but can save you hours of headache, heartache, and confusion. Expect good, but prepare for the worst, and here’s hoping you have the most relaxing, peaceful, and most importantly, disaster-free vacation yet.
featured photo: Copyright-free image: https://pixabay.com/en/little-girl-breaks-flower-flowers-791357/