5 Tips to Keep Kids Safe While Traveling

Oaklee’s guest post by Nancy Cowles, Executive Director for Kids In Danger, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to improving children’s product safety. Check their website for safety information and the latest product recalls. 

Whatever the holiday season has in store for your family, if you will be traveling with your children, don’t forget these travel safety trips for all ages to ensure a smooth and safe trip!

Here are five simple safety precautions parents can take to help keep their children safe while traveling over the holidays:

  1. Check your products for recalls. If your child is a preschooler, you may take along toys and other forms of entertainment for long travel. Check these products for recalls. Wherever you travel, remain alert to the risks of new toys and games, including any choking hazards. Refer to this KID resource for more details to keep your children safe in this regard.


  1. Always use an age-appropriate infant or booster car seat when traveling. Car seat safety is of the utmost importance no matter what age your children are. Check to make sure that any safety seats haven’t been recalled or previously involved in a crash, and are appropriate for your child’s height and weight. Avoid strapping your child into their car seat wearing a winter coat or other bulky clothing, because that extra padding will flatten out in a car crash, leaving a dangerous space between the harness and your child’s body. Try using thin layers, and use a coat or blanket over the straps. See this AAP resource for more extensive tips on this topic. During a road trip, be sure to take breaks for you and your child, and never leave them unattended.


  1. Make sure your baby has a safe place to sleep. KID warns against the use of travel beds and other products with weak industry standards. Review KID’s Safe Sleep Tips for guidelines on creating safe sleep environments.


  1. As of December 28th, all places of public accommodation, such as hotels, must provide cribs that meet the new federal standards of safety. Parents should either call the hotel ahead of time and confirm that the make and model of the crib complies with the new standards, or bring their own safe sleeping product. Make sure that your play yards, bassinets, and other durable products all meet current standards and be checked for hazards. And, of course, remember that your baby should sleep on their back in an entirely empty crib — #BareIsBest.


  1. Be aware of tip-over hazards. For your toddlers, remember that their natural curiosity and newly developed motor skills can cause them to climb or reach for items on top of furniture. This behavior can pose a significant tip-over hazard, so remember when traveling to make sure that the furniture in your new environment is anchored and secured. Never leave your child alone in a room with unsecured furniture, and avoid putting toys, remotes or other intriguing items that a child might try to reach on the dresser. For tips and more information, see KID’s furniture hazard page and the CSPC’s “Anchor It!” campaign.

Though your child might only stay in a hotel crib or grandma’s house a couple of times a year, that does not mean that unknown crib, play yard, or travel seat is harmless. Any product your baby uses, sleeps in, or travels in away from home, no matter how infrequently, should be inspected as closely as any products kept in your house.

Stay informed by signing up for alerts from KidsInDanger.org. Learn more information about child product safety and what you can do to help. Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for the latest safety news and recall alerts, and sign up for email alerts!