Thursday, May 16, 2013

Don't leave Safety at home this vacation

School’s almost out for the kids and summer vacation plans are in full mode. So whether you’re heading to the beach or to the mountains, plan your family vacation time with safety in mind as diligently as you do while home.

Here are some safety tips to help you plan:

The pool
Risk of drowning is ever-present when you’re near water, but you can dramatically reduce that risk by choosing a hotel, motel or vacation property with a fence around the pool and spa. Also, most community pools will not have a lifeguard on duty, so never leave your children unattended. Even if there is a lifeguard on duty, you can't guarantee they are watching your child over the several others in the pool. Vacation or not, you are never on vacation from your children.

Balconies
Make sure that balconies don’t have wide railings that a youngster could fit through and that they’re high enough to prevent children from climbing over and falling. Even if the balcony looks fine in the brochure, remember that not all rooms are necessarily the same so it’s always best to double check.

Windows and doors
Not all hotels and motels are designed for child safety, so check that windows can only open inches and not entirely allowing a child to fall out. Check that door locks are up out of children’s reach and even check that if there’s a connecting door (to another room) make sure it is locked from your side as well. Report any concerns to your hotel management immediately.

Beds
Poor fitting mattresses and safety rails could present a risk of suffocation or injury to small children, so consider a playpen, renting a crib or with our kids we have them bring their sleeping bags. I’d be upset to sleep on the floor of a hotel room; they actually want to do it. Kids.

Tubs and toilets
Not much is different here than at home, but in a smaller space than your home they seem to be even more exciting to children to invade. First thing I do is check the bathroom when I check into my room. I really did have a room once that had the tub filled with about 4 inches of water (let’s remember, it only takes 1 inch for a child to drown). Thankfully, I was not with my children and it was just poor housekeeping, but ‘accidents happen’ is more than just a saying. It’s hard to keep kids out of the bathroom, so I close the door and truly barricade it with stuff that will create enough noise that alerts me that they are on the move.

Baby monitor
You use them at home, and they’re small enough to pack, so make sure to pack one. It’s worth choosing one with a long range as you may be a bit further away than you’d normally be at home if you’re sitting out on the balcony or terrace. A monitor placed next to your child’s sleeping area will alert you if they stop breathing, start crying or if there’s an intruder. You can even get video monitors for added peace of mind.

Making sure your children are safe when you’re staying in a place you don’t know is just a matter of awareness and planning. You can’t wrap them in bubble wrap, but you can do some upfront checking on the important stuff in advance and take sensible precautions while you’re away. There’s no reason why you can’t relax and enjoy your vacation also.

1 comment:

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