Originally published December 9, 2009
Keeping little ones safe and sound while traveling to visit family and friends during the holidays can be simple and easy with a bit of preparation by parents.
While you may take childproofing for granted at your home, friends and relatives may not be accustomed to tiny tots with their eyes all aglow and their curious hands looking for things to explore. Save yourself the stress of chasing kids to keep them out of trouble by calling ahead and asking if your hosts would mind putting away breakable items and anything that might be at child level, such as poisonous Poinsettia plants.
Better yet, ask if you can bring along a portable safety gate so that you can confine your visit to a ‘safe’ room that has been cleared of precious or potentially perilous possessions.
If your stay will be extended, consider taking along a basic childproofing kit, such as the Dream Baby Safety Kit, $19.99, (www.shop4kids.com) that requires no tools and no screws, so you can easily affix and remove safety devices such as cabinet locks and electrical outlet covers without damage to your host’s home.
If you are traveling by plane without your car child safety seat, remember to arrange ahead of time for a car seat to be installed in the vehicle that will transport your little traveler at your destination. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until the last minute, or when you arrive at the airport, to try to figure out how to put in a car seat.
‘I see a lot of seats put in improperly, which can put children at risk,’ says Adam Lari, a certified child safety seat installer and owner of Infant Toddler Youth (www.ITYSafety.com).’It’s always best to have a professional install a car seat for peace of mind.’
Lari, who makes house calls, gives instruction to his clients so that they can uninstall the car seat later and re-install it next time it’s needed.
Making your child’s environment safe for a holiday stay will give you one less thing to worry about. With a little forethought and groundwork, your vacation visits with little ones can be carefree and safe. Of course, lots of holiday treats and toys will make it even better.