What Parents Need to Know for Safe Summer Travel
Summer time usually includes traveling time for so many families across the country. Whether your summer adventures are on the road, in the air, or just preparing for family and friends to visit, here are a few tips to help you travel safely over the summer:
On the Road
Check Your Car Seat. Did you know that 73 percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly? Before you hit the road this season, please take 15 minutes for an at-home car seat checkup using the Safe Kids downloadable checklist. The checklist offers ways to make sure your car seat is right for your child and that the seat is installed properly. These tips are important because we know that when used correctly, child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.
Use Booster Seats. Safety in the car goes beyond your little ones. Kids who have outgrown a forward-facing harness seat are not ready for a seat belt or front seat yet. They are safest in a booster seat that enables the adult seat belt to fit properly. Even when children have outgrown booster seats, they are safest in the backseat until the age of 13.
Have an Exit Strategy. So the car is packed, the kids are in the right seat, the seats are installed properly, and you’re on the open road. Nothing can stop you now, right? Wrong. That’s when you hear that all too familiar howl that means “I want food” or “Change my diaper.” When it happens, please don’t worry about making good time. Instead, get off at the next exit and find a safe area to feed or change your child.
On a Plane
Don’t Forget the Car Seat. Flying can be an incredible experience for children – either for the first time or as a repeat explorer. If you’re planning to travel by air this summer, be sure to bring your child’s car seat onto the plane. Check to make sure the car seat is labeled “certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” For babies and toddlers, this is the safest way to travel.
Make Time Fly. Before you head down the runway, make sure you bring plenty of books, games and drawing supplies for young kids. You might need more than you think to keep your little traveler occupied. When you’re in the air, it’s the perfect time to connect over a game of Go Fish or Mastermind.
At a Relative’s Home
Talk Before you Walk. Staying with relatives can give parents much-needed time to relax, whether it’s sleeping in, grabbing a bite to eat or escaping to the movies. Before you do, talk to your relatives about being extra careful to keep small objects away from young kids. This includes medications, which can look like candy, button batteries, magnets, small toys, and other objects that are small enough for children to swallow. Also mention the importance of supervision when your kids are around water. Then go out, don’t worry and have fun.
Have a great summer.