Whether you are heading on a vacation to a sunny destination or planning to spend some time with relatives, these top safety tips for traveling with children will help to make the experience a little easier.
The Top Safety Tips for Traveling with Children
Getting ready to travel with youngsters starts with a good plan first.
Consider How and When You Will Be Traveling
If you are going to be mobile in the warmer months, put a sun shade in the window of your vehicle to keep the rays out of your children's eyes. When the weather is colder and you are traveling by car, take extra blankets and pillows. Dressing in layers is a good strategy, since it can get warm in the vehicle.
People traveling by air have other considerations. It makes sense to keep certain items, such medications, in the carry-on baggage in case the flight is delayed or checked bags get lost. However, you will want to check with the Transportation Security Administration's website for all of the rules and regulations when it comes to traveling by air.
Traveling by Air
Here are some tips to keep in mind if you will be flying to your destination.
- It is recommended that children who weigh less than 40 pounds travel in an approved child restraint system.
- Tell your children to keep their seat belt on at all times when they are in flight. Turbulence can happen suddenly and the child may be injured if they are not restrained properly.
- Small children shouldn't be seated in an aisle seat, since they may find it hard to keep their arms and legs out of the aisle. They may be hurt when passengers try to move past them or when the flight attendants are trying to move the beverage cart down the aisle at mealtime.
- About a week before you are due to leave, order a special meal for all members of the family, if applicable. A number of airlines offer children's meals, but you can also order vegetarian or kosher meals as well. The special meals that airlines serve may have more variety than the standard ones, and flight attendants tend to serve passengers with special food requirements first, which means a shorter wait time for food.
- Take some snack items with you. Airlines may offer peanuts on the flight, but salty snacks will only make you feel dehydrated quicker in the dry cabin of a plane. Taking your own unsalted peanuts, raisins, and fruit is a better choice.
- Take extra disposable diapers, powdered formula and baby supplies on board. Some airlines may be able to supply these items on request, but this is not a given. A better choice is to include them in your carry-on bag.
- To help avoid ear troubles, chew sugarless gum. Younger children can use a soother or pacifier; the sucking will help to reduce the painful effects that the change in air pressure brings.
- Be sure to bring along some books and toys to keep your child busy on the flight.
Traveling by Car
- Give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Children get bored sitting for long periods of time, and making stops along the way to get out of the vehicle to stretch is a good strategy for all the members of the family.
- Allow each child to bring a bag with a few special things in it. A backpack can be used for this purpose, and it can be used to hold a favorite toy, some books, or a small game.
- Give the child something new to play with on the way. A new book or a travel game can help to keep children from getting bored while on the road.
- Bring along some music when traveling. Each person could choose one to bring, or you could burn a CD with some favorites. Everyone in the family can sing along to pass the time.
Following these top tips for traveling with children will make the journey a lot easier for all members of the family.