10 Ways Parents Can Practice Kid Safety on Vacation

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Published by Dr. Charles Gemmi

A Board Certified Orthodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Charles Gemmi has been a practicing orthodontist with Orthodontics Limited since 2000 and is a member of the teaching staff at Einstein Medical Center. Orthodontics Limited is a Diamond+ Provider of Invisalign in Philadelphia and Hatboro, PA.

Summer time means family vacations creating memories that will help you survive the next long winter. Whether you are planning relaxing days on the beach or exploring new cities, don’t forget to put plans in place to keep your children safe. Tragedies can happen when we are in new environs and are natural defenses are down.

Here are 10 ways parents can practice kid safety on vacation:

1. Research New Places Thoroughly

While in your own personal life, you might like living on the edge and just winging it while on vacation, it can be dangerous to do when you have kids. Not all destinations are kid-friendly so when you are thinking of going some place for vacation, make sure you research it thoroughly before making final plans. Look at crime rates and current events that suggest any particular unrest in the area, and if you are traveling out of country make sure your kids get the appropriate vaccines.

2. Make Sure Your Insurance Travels Well

It can be scary when you or a family member needs medical attention when you are on vacation. Not being familiar with where the closest hospital is and whether your insurance coverage would work here can make an already stressful situation even worse. That is why you should check your insurance coverage and health care options before you leave on vacation. If you are leaving the country check into world health insurance or supplemental insurance just in case you plan does not include international coverage.

3. Have an Emergency Plan in Place

No matter how careful you are, unfortunately an emergency can still happen so it is best to have a plan in place. Make it a family affair. Sit down together before you go on vacation and discuss where everyone will meet if you get separated, especially the kids. If your kids are older, instill in them how important it is to stay in constant communication through their phone. Go over the plan several times to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Also let your kids know if certain areas will be off limits to them. For example, to protect them from drowning or a shark attack at the beach, you may want to not let your kids in the water unless you or your partner is with them.

4. Pack Child-Proofing Items

When you have really small children, it is hard to leave home because there are least everything is child proofed and set up to keep your small ones safe. When you are in a strange hotel room or rental property, it can be hard to truly relax when you have to constantly keep your precocious toddler from climbing furniture and falling down stairs. To keep your kids safe and give you peace of mind, childproof your vacation spot the same way you childproofed your home. If you are traveling by air and then renting a car, don’t forget those car seats too.

5. Pack a First Aid Kit

Blisters, scrapes, sun burn, these are very common when you are running around out in the sun all day long. Be prepared to handle any situation by taking a first aid kit with you. Don’t forget the Band-Aids and disinfectant spray.

6. Attach Information Cards to Your Kids

If your child isn’t old enough to remember important information like their full name, your name and phone number and where you are staying then you should create an information card that always goes with them while away from home.

7. Create a Child-Friendly Itinerary

For an enjoyable time for all, keep your kids’ interests and abilities in mind when planning your vacation itinerary. If you have little ones in tow, you will want to carve out some downtime for naps and early enough bed times so you don’t have a cranky kid on your hands.

Also bored kids are more likely to go looking for trouble so make sure your trip includes activities that they will enjoy. That doesn’t mean you can not enjoy the things you love. It just means a little compromising is in order. And if you want some “adult time, ” find out about babysitting services where you are staying.

8. Assign Kids to Specific Parent While Out

When you have multiple kids even when you are at home you are mostly likely doing a bit of dividing and conquering, breaking up kid duties between the two of you. While you are away, you need to do the same. Make sure every child always has a parent’s attention on him or her. Tragic mistakes can happen when you think your partner has kid duty but he thinks you are on the job.

9. Practice Common Sense

There are a lot of common sense safety measures you should also put into play also. For instance, when entering or exiting vehicles make sure your child is not last. Always sandwich the kids in between you and your partner.

Also make sure that an adult is always holding the hand of any small children when you are out and about.

10. Respect Local Customs and Laws

Traveling to new countries and exploring new cultures can be a lot of fun, but you need to make sure you are always respecting the local customs and laws. Researching them should be a part of your initial trip preparation, and then while you are in-country make sure you are following the local customs and laws.

If your child wears braces or retainers, remember to be sure to pack everything they will need to maintain their oral health while you are on vacation. If they are wearing Invisalign aligners and are due for a new set while you are away, then make plans to have them shipped to you at the hotel or rental property. If your child will be doing a lot of physical activities while on vacation, consider getting them a mouth guard to wear to prevent injury to their mouth and orthodontic appliances.

For more information on how to protect your child’s oral health while on vacation, call Orthodontics Limited.

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