Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Holiday Traveling Safety Tips


Holiday Travel Safety Tips

Winter holidays often include travel to see family and friends. Whether your trip is over the river and through the woods, or the distance of a plane trip, plan ahead to ensure safe travels. Traveling with kids can be an adventure, but the following suggestions may help make your travels easier this season.

Check for childproofing

  • If your holiday travels include a stay at a relative's or friend’s home, speak with your host in advance about basic childproofing. This is especially important if you are visiting people whose children have already grown, or those without children.
  • Keep pill-minders and other medications out of sight and out of reach of children.
  • Keep purses and baggage off the floor where curious children can get into items that may be toxic or cause injuries.

Travel tips by road

  • Always use a car seat or booster seat that is appropriate for your child’s age and size.
  • A forward-facing car seat can protect older toddlers. Harnesses should be used up to the weight and height limit indicated by the car seat manufacturer.
  • Children who have outgrown a harness seat should use a booster seat until they meet the minimum requirements of state law.
  • Older children and adults must also buckle up on every ride.

Travel tips by air

  • When traveling by airplane, infants and toddlers are safest in an approved car seat with a harness, in case of turbulence. Make sure your child’s car seat is labeled "Certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft."
  • Children who have outgrown harness car seats should sit directly on the airplane seat like all other passengers, keeping the lap belt buckled snugly across their thighs.
  • Because they require shoulder belts, booster seats cannot be used on airplanes. You can check boosters, or at the gate, so you will have them at your destination.

Safety gear on the go: If your children will be biking, skating, skateboarding, skiing, or snowboarding, make sure to pack their helmets. Dress children in layers and take breaks to stay hydrated.

Sleep safely on the go: If you have a baby and your trip involves staying overnight, consider bringing your own folding playpen rather than relying on borrowed cribs. Sometimes, extended family need to be educated on the facts of safe sleep. Inform them of the ABCs of Safe Sleep (Alone, on Back, in Crib).

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Last Edited: December 6, 2017
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