4. How to Prepare for Travel Emergencies when Traveling with Children
Traveling with children can add a special, meaningful dimension to your trip. Follow these suggestions to better enjoy travels with children:
- Bring necessary medications and a first aid kit with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, to use if no water facilities are available. Have on hand over-the-counter remedies for colds, viruses, and common stomach ailments.
- Check with your pediatrician if your child plans to fly within two weeks or an ear infection, surgery, or other illness.
- Be sure all vaccinations are current, especially when traveling to a foreign country.
- Bring the proper legal documentation that allows you to travel with the child if you are divorced or do not have legal custody.
- Bring extra bottled water and snacks in case you are delayed.
- Make hotel reservations in advance so you aren’t caught unprepared and without lodging for exhausted children.
- Write down your mobile device number, name, and your child’s name, to keep with them at all times, so they can locate you if they are lost. Practice with your child in advance what to do if they get separated from you.
- Invest in a small, child locator device that your child can wear attached to their belt or shoe; you keep the transmitter. If they wander off, you can sound the alarm fast.
- If you drive, use a car safety seat for infants and young children. Be sure children are correctly seated and secured. Most rental car companies can arrange for a car seat.
- Older children should ride in ‘booster seats’ until ready to safely wear your vehicle’s seatbelt.
- Ensure that all children under 13 ride in the rear seat of a vehicle.
- Never leave your child alone in car. Temperatures inside the car can reach extreme levels within minutes.
- Stay close to children while swimming or near water.
- Take extra time to allow for rest and breaks. Be prepared to travel at a slower pace with small children to avoid losing your cool during delays and meltdowns.
- Bring a few familiar toys and games to keep restless children busy during travel.
- Load a mobile device with applications to keep children of all ages engaged and happy. This can also reduce the weight and bulk of carrying toys and games in your luggage.