Careful! Don’t Touch! Look Out!
Safety tips for traveling with toddlers
Toddlers are known for their insatiable curiosity, but they don’t yet have an understanding of consequence. Their motor skills aren’t reliable and their judgment and self-control is lacking. They love to touch and explore, but also tend to tune out warnings, restrictions and reprimands in their quest to test your authority. Safety vigilance is key to traveling with a toddler.
Here are some tips to help you cope.
- Grown-ups are often distracted when traveling, dealing with luggage, check-in counters, maps, guidebooks and the like. If you’re traveling in pairs, have one person dedicated to toddler-watch while the other one deals with the tasks at hand. If you’re alone, contain your toddler in a stroller or backpack during times when you have to focus your attentions elsewhere.
- Travel often entails water fun, which requires hyper-vigilant awareness. Never leave a toddler near any body of water without constant supervision, be it a bath, wading pool, ocean, fish pond or hot tub.
- Be especially cautious when walking in crowded areas like busy streets or bustling markets. Insist on holding hands near traffic or on mountain top viewpoints. Consider using a harness if it’ll make your travels less stressful.
- Absent-minded toddlers can wander off if given the opportunity. Always be aware of what your child is wearing and carry a recent photo in case you need to involve others in a search.
- Pack a basic first aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic ointment, diaper rash cream (if using), any prescription medicines (bring copies of prescriptions with you), thermometer, baby pain reliever (ibuprofen or acetaminophen), baby antihistamine, something for upset stomachs, and your doctor’s phone number.
- Young children don’t take too well to a room full of no-nos, so you’ll have to take it upon yourself to secure the environment from safety hazards. Toddler proofing your home away from home should be a top priority when settling in to your destination. Some hotels provide child-proofing kits but don’t count on it. If you’re staying with friends or relatives, their homes may not be toddler-proofed to your standards. Be sure to check out our tips on child-proofing your vacation environment.