Posted on March 07, 2024

Safe Spring Break Travel Tips

child travels

As spring break approaches, many families are gearing up for travel adventures, eager to create lasting memories. However, amidst the excitement, it's essential to prioritize safety, especially when traveling with little ones. At Physicians' Clinic of Iowa, our pediatricians understand the importance of ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for families on the move. Here are some hazards to watch out for and valuable tips for safe traveling, whether you're embarking on a domestic getaway or an international excursion.

Car Travel

  • Use Proper Restraints: Ensure that all children are properly restrained in age-appropriate car seats or booster seats. Follow the guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for optimal safety.
  • Plan Regular Breaks: Long car journeys can be tiring for everyone, especially young children. Plan frequent stops to stretch, use the restroom, and refresh. Encourage physical activity during breaks to prevent restlessness.
  • Pack Essentials: Keep essential items within reach, such as snacks, water, entertainment (books, toys, tablets), and any necessary medications.
  • Avoid Distractions: Minimize distractions while driving by preloading entertainment devices and avoiding phone use. Assign an adult passenger to attend to children's needs.

Plane Travel

  • Arrive Early: Arrive at the airport well in advance to allow ample time for security checks and boarding procedures, reducing stress for both adults and children.
  • Choose Convenient Flight Times: Try to find flights that align with your child's sleep schedule whenever possible to minimize disruption to their routine.
  • Bring Comfort Items: Pack familiar comfort items, such as blankets, stuffed animals, or pacifiers, to help soothe anxious or restless children during the flight.
  • Stay Hydrated: Encourage hydration throughout the flight by offering water regularly. Dry cabin air can lead to dehydration, which may exacerbate jet lag or discomfort.

Hotel Stays

  • Childproof the Room: Upon arrival, inspect the hotel room for potential hazards, such as loose cords, sharp edges, or uncovered electrical outlets. Request childproofing kits from the hotel if necessary.
  • Establish Safe Zones: Designate safe areas within the room where young children can play freely without risk of injury. Use portable playpens or travel cribs for added security.
  • Secure Medications and Toiletries: Keep medications, cleaning supplies, and toiletries out of reach or in locked cabinets to prevent accidental ingestion or spills.
  • Maintain Supervision: Supervise children at all times, especially around pools, balconies, or other potentially dangerous areas within the hotel premises. Drowning is one of the leading causes of pediatric deaths, so ensure children are always supervised when near a pool and ensure that children cannot access the pool without someone to supervise them.

Taxi/Uber Rides

  • Use Approved Car Seats: Whenever possible, use your child's car seat or booster seat in taxis or ride-sharing vehicles. Some companies offer car seat rental services or provide vehicles equipped with child restraints.
  • Verify Driver Credentials: Ensure that the driver's credentials and vehicle information match the details provided by the ride-sharing app before getting into the vehicle.
  • Sit Safely: Encourage children to sit in the back seat and wear seat belts at all times, even for short rides. Avoid allowing children to ride in the front seat, especially if airbags are present.
  • Maintain Awareness: Stay alert during the ride and be prepared to intervene if the driver's behavior or route raises any concerns. Trust your instincts and prioritize safety above all else.

Domestic and International Travel:

  • Research Health Precautions: Familiarize yourself with any health advisories or vaccination requirements specific to your destination, especially for international travel. Consult with your pediatrician regarding recommended vaccinations or preventive measures.
  • Pack Essentials: In addition to the usual travel essentials, include a first aid kit with basic medications, bandages, and antiseptic wipes. Be prepared for unexpected illnesses or minor injuries.
  • Stay Informed: Stay informed about local customs, laws, and emergency contact information at your destination. Keep important documents, such as passports and travel insurance details, secure and easily accessible.

By taking proactive measures, families can enjoy a safe and memorable spring break getaway. Remember, the well-being of your loved ones is paramount, so prioritize safety at every step of your travel journey. If you have any specific concerns or questions regarding your child's health or safety during travel, don't hesitate to reach out to PCI Pediatrics at (319) 247-3820. Wishing you a happy and safe spring break adventure!

*Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations and guidance tailored to your family's needs.

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