Are you and your family going away for the holiday season? If so, "Yay!"
A break from the boss is always a good thing! It should be a great, fun family time, but we need to make sure that your little ones are safe. There was an article about child safety when flying that I thought I’d share. Also, I wanted to offer my advice to all of you parents who may be traveling soon. I hope it will be useful to you. You may already know some of these things, while others maybe you never thought about.
Safety seats. To lap or not to lap? That is the question. If you are planning to have your toddler sit on your lap when you are flying, you may want to reconsider after reading this. Although the airlines allow children UNDER 2 years old to sit on an adults lap, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highly recommends ALL young children to use seating restraints when flying for your child’s protection. And the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) takes it a step further, and says that children under 2 years of age need to use an FAA approved car seat when flying for full protection. Such car seats will have an FAA sticker on it.
Why is it not good for young children to just sit on their parents lap? Because according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, preventable injuries and deaths have occurred in children under 2, who were not using restraints. Having our toddler sitting on your lap, would not protect them from the heavy impact if there were bad turbulence. In order to keep your toddler safe and secure from serious injuries, they will need a restraint seat. Specifically, they stated that turbulence is the leading cause of nonfatal injuries to aircraft passengers. Since using all necessary measures to insure the safety of children is SafeHolmes motto, we want to make sure all you parents are as informed as possible. So, please keep these things in mind when flying with your toddlers.
On a different note, here are some other things that came to my mind when I thought about my own traveling experiences with my kids ….
FROM ONE PARENT TO ANOTHER...
What about those ear irritations?
One of the problems we had with our oldest son was his ear being irritated at take off and landing times. Because toddlers are so young, I would suggest making sure that you give them something to drink before and during these flight taking off/landing times to help avoid their ears from hurting. Also, you could give them something soft and safe to chew on as an alternative.
Does WHERE you sit on the plane matter?
You also need to think about where the best place to sit your toddler on a plane. In my opinion, it’s better if your child is not seated near the seat closest to the aisle. Here’s why: you want to avoid injuries such as their legs or arms extending out which risk the possibility of someone or something bumping them. You should also be mindful of the serving carts that are passing when flight attendants serve snacks, etc. You don’t want your toddler getting bumped or getting something spilled on them (like hot tea or coffee!) because they are seated off the aisle where the flight attendants are serving in close quarters.
And on that same subject, be cautious when flight attendants are serving those hot drinks and make sure that your child is not at risk of drinks getting accidentally spilled on them. Another reason why I feel toddlers shouldn’t be near the aisle is because if a passenger decides to get something from the overhead, you don’t want to risk your toddler getting hit or something falling down on them. It's a small chance of that, but why risk it!
When staying at hotels. Hotels of all kinds can have safety concerns such as bedbugs, and other safety hazards. And please don’t think the “luxury” hotels don’t have these problems because they do... DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THAT!
My family has had our own interesting experiences with hotels of all types. My husband would always inspect the hotel first BEFORE we settled in, especially for bed bugs..UGH!
MY “MOM SUGGESTIONS”
- Inspect hotel room early, before settling in… especially the bed for bed bugs
- Disinfect the hotel room
- Always keep bathroom doors closed for safety reasons
- Don’t have your child walking barefoot on floor
- cover outlets and plugs with tape
CHECKING FOR BED BUGS. Look at both mattress and sheets for signs of bed bugs. I strongly recommend that you do this before you get settled into the room because you’d hate to have to relocate and pack everything up to go to another room if there are bed bugs, etc. If you want more specific tips on checking for bedbug, check out Consumer Reports.
DISINFECTING ROOM. You can either plan to bring your own disinfected spray and wipes or request it from the maintenance staff, but just make sure you do it. There needs to be special and added attention with toddlers.
Disinfect all items that you think your toddler would be enticed to touch or put in their mouth such as: remote controls, phones, lamp or light switches, and door handles. You wouldn’t want to know just how many germs are in that hotel room!
CLOSE BATHROOM DOORS. There’s a lot of reasons for this. I know some caregivers that use tape to secure toddlers from exploring toilet, and turning on showers or sinks. That’s a great idea. But I would also just keep the door closed as in extra safety precaution. I know many toddlers could still open the door, so there are various types of door knob protector cover to prevent toddlers for opening doors. Depending on the curiosity level of your toddler, or to add a little more protection, you probably could put a chair (or luggage) in front of the door as a deterrent from the door knob. You want to make it as difficult as possible for them to get in the bathroom. It may also decrease their temptation to want to go and explore if the door is closed. You know that old saying, "out of sight, out of mind.” In addition, it protects your child from getting into things like with those lovely lotions, shampoos and soaps that the hotel offers and toddlers always find a way to open those containers. Also, when you are sleep, you don’t want your toddler wandering off into the bathroom.
DON’T HAVE YOUR CHILD WALKING BAREFOOT ON FLOOR. Whenever my family is staying at hotels, we always either wear socks, house shoes or footies or slippers, and I think it’s a wise idea for anyone staying at a hotel. I suggest this because of all the germs that are on the floor. No one is expecting you to be Sherlock Holmes, because I'm not, but I would also highly recommend inspecting the floor to make sure there are no harmful items there for your toddler to get into and don’t forget to check under those beds and in those drawers too! Try to avoid your toddler from crawling on the carpet period. The reality is, that floor has probably NEVER BEEN SHAMPOO'd and we don't want to think about "who did what in that room before you got there." But If you feel comfortable with them doing so, please at least spray the floor with disinfectant spray as much as you can (do this before they settle into the room) and make sure you have them wash their hands as often as possible.
COVER OUTLETS AND PLUGS WITH TAPE. This is very important. You should bring duct tape to cover these outlets so you child is safe from getting into them.
I was also reading an article from Rough Guides that offered some good advice for those caregivers traveling with the little tots by plane.
- Here are some of their suggestions:
- Book ahead
- Be prepared for the climate
- Pack Pull-Ups for potty training
- Be- app-y (in the words, use apps to entertain your child)
- Invest in a child locator
- Don’t forget the medicine
The SafeHolmes family wishes you and your loved ones a great and SAFE journey whatever your plans are this holiday season.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CHECK OUT THESE SITES!
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: