The world is a place of wonders and dangers. When you travel you take your children on their first steps toward discovering these wonders and, of course, you need to take steps to protect them from the dangers.
“In America there are two classes of travel—first class and with children.” Robert Benchley
According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign accidental injury is the leading cause of death among children 14 and younger in the U.S. and 90% of those can be prevented. Motor vehicle crashes lead the list, followed by drowning, pedestrian accidents and fire.
At home & abroad
Considering what precautionary steps you can take to protect your kids from these dangers they should naturally be part of your travel prep.
Emergencies happen at home and abroad. It’s important for children to know what to do in emergencies.
- Do you have emergency plans at home for “what to do” in case of accident, sickness, fire, storm, etc?
- Do you have practice drills and role-play sessions?
- Do you have open discussions about safety awareness—and you should?
Then reviewing safety steps on an auto trip or explaining the steps to exit a plane quickly or get out of a hotel in case of fire should not unnecessarily frighten them.
You’re a step ahead of tragedy when you have a safety plan at home and a safety plan when you travel.
Take those steps to protect your children and teach them how to protect themselves.
“SAFE KIDS are no accident.” Motto of National SAFE KIDS Campaign
Be Prepared. “The meaning of the motto is that a scout must prepare himself by previous thinking out and practicing how to act on any accident or emergency so that he is never taken by surprise. Robert Baden-Powell
- Know ahead whom to call in case of a medical emergency. Have your doctor refer you to a physician at your destination or check with your credit card companies about medical referral services. A call to your pediatrician might be wise if the situation warrants it.
- Safety items to pack: first-aid kit, small flashlights, night-lights, and plugs for electrical outlets if you have toddlers.
- Children should wear identification. Websites like idonme.com, usdogtags.com and jrdogtags.com offer authentic military dog tags.
- Kids should know where they are staying and whom they are visiting. They should memorize their hotel name and room number and carry a business card or information on people you are visiting.
- Think up creative ideas to help family to stay together in crowded areas.
- Dress kids in bright colors, same colored T-shirts are helpful.
- Consider inexpensive walkie-talkies or cheap cell phones.
Have a plan
“You don’t have to plan to fail; all you have to do is fail to plan.” Benjamin Franklin
- Have a plan if you get separated.
- As you enter a crowded area pick out a central meeting place and point out employees who can help them if they get lost.
- Tell kids if they lose you to stay put in a visible place and not wander around looking for you, and ask help from a police officer or other uniformed person. If they call out for you they should use your name, not mommy or daddy.
- Abroad, check with embassy for reliable babysitting.
Take precautions to stay healthy
- Keep your kids healthy & rested. Use sunscreen lavishly. Encourage them to drink lots of safe water & wash hands often.
- If you’re planning a adventure trip like an African safari, research the outfitter and request references. Ask about medical care and if guides are trained in child CPR.
- Don’t ever leave them in a car alone.
- A child’s body heats up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s. On an 80 degree day it can get up to 140 degrees in a car.
by Ron Zupsic
Little children are a treasure
Their worth you can not measure
In terms of money or gold.
Their voices are the melody
That vibrates deep inside of me
Worth their weight, a thousand fold.
Their eyes so brightly shining
They are the silver lining
That brightens up my day.
I couldn’t live without them
More priceless then any gem
My loneliness they chase away….
Source: Precious Little Children, Children Poem http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/precious-little-children#ixzz2alIBe0h2
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