We look forward to mixing up our days when we travel. There are fewer hours spent doing the dishes and more hours spent engaging as a family. However, the days leading up to a vacation can be busy. It always seems like there’s so much to do to plan for the “just in case.”
Keeping kids safe when we travel can be a top concern among busy moms and dads. To help mitigate the worry and concern, we’ve come up with a list of top kids safety items that you must have when you travel.
1. An appropriate car seat or booster seat. If you’re traveling across state lines it is important that you know the various laws. Many states require babies under age two to be rear facing and kids between age 5-8 to be seated in a booster seat.
2. First aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes and tweezers, as well as items like burn ointment and medication. Having a travel first aid kit on hand can help you clean up any boo-boos that may get you down when on vacation.
3. If you’re on a road trip, portable jumper cables. They now make jumper cables that come “charged” so you don’t need to find a stranger and ask for a jump. I know we want to be trusting, but honestly, we’re writing about safety right now. 🙂
4. Life vest or “Puddle Jumper.” If you’re doing a summer road trip there’s a good chance you’ll come across water. Just in case you want to let the kids get their feet wet (or more), keep a life vest with you for any non-swimmers.
5. A back-up cell phone. Keep your old phone with you and charged. U.S. law requires that all phones must connect to emergency services (911) even if they aren’t on a contract or “have minutes” remaining. Keep the old phone turned off and in your glove box “for emergencies.”
6. A KidGPS Tracker. When in crowded areas, a KidGPS Tracker is a must. It’s a wearable device that can help you locate your child if you get separated. Some include panic alerts that the child can press as well.
7. If you have a young child it may be advantageous to invest in an ergonomic baby/toddler carrier. Keep your child within arms’ reach and still keep your arms free.
8. If your child is a bit of a runner, consider a safety harness if you’ll be travelling to a very crowded area and babywearing isn’t an option. They have some that are also backpacks, which can be useful for carrying your toddler’s water and a few snacks.
9. If you have a stroller, then a stroller wrist strap can help prevent a stroller from rolling away, especially if you’re seeing the sights in a hilly city, like San Francisco.
10. Sunshades – both sunglasses and UV blocking devices for the vehicle. Also, don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen with a high SPF for best sun safety.
11. Before you head out on your trip, sign your child up for a Safety Town class. Safety Town teaches your kids about safety, has your family set up a “code word” if someone were to try to tell them to come along and coaches through various safety situations that families may encounter when travelling and at home.
12. A booster seat for restaurants. Unfortunately, many restaurants do not provide booster seats and it can be dangerous for toddlers to be in a regular chair without being strapped in. These are easily foldable. Just make sure that it attaches to a seat and secures your child into the booster.
13. Back-up water bottle as well as a water filter. In case you get stranded, hydration is one of the most important issues. When hiking or camping, having a water filter or a straw that filters river or lake water can be beneficial if you were to become stranded or lost.
When it comes to travel, you want the time to be fun. Being prepared with a variety of safety devices and plans can help ensure that you’re focused on having fun instead of those “just in case” events. If something potentially unsafe occurs, you’ll already be prepared and will know just what to do.
Photo Credit: Kayla Sawyer