Safety Tips for Traveling with Your Baby this Summer
It’s almost time to pack up the car for a vacation road trip, but you’ll have more to think about if there’s a new member of your family going with you. Whether you’re heading to the beach or the mountains, there’s a lot to think about when you travel with a baby.
Safety, of course, should be foremost in your mind – keeping your baby safe and comfortable when traveling. Here are some baby travel tips to ensure you’ll get to your vacation destination with a happy and healthy baby.
Make sure baby is secure
Be sure your baby has a car seat that’s the right size and that it’s installed properly. The safety belt should hold the seat firmly in place for maximum protection in the event of an accident. The safest place to secure a baby in a car is the backseat where they’re least likely to sustain an injury in the event of a crash.
Babies under one year old should be in a car seat that faces to the rear for the best protection when traveling by car. If you don’t know how to install a car seat properly, stop by your local fire station and ask them to show you how to do it correctly.
Carry only soft toys in the car
Bring along a few toys to keep your baby entertained but choose the safest ones. Avoid toys that are hard, sharp or heavy. If you have to stop suddenly, a heavy toy can become airborne and cause an injury. Carry one or two small stuffed animals or other small, soft toys you can attach to your baby’s car seat. Make sure everything else is strapped in tightly when traveling with an infant.
Be prepared for emergencies by bringing a baby first aid kit with you when you travel. Things to pack in your kit include a thermometer, bandages, liquid soap, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, sunscreen, cold pack, insect repellant, hydrocortisone cream, medicine for fever like liquid acetaminophen, medicine dropper and a first aid guide. You never know when you’ll need these items.
Be sure you know how to quickly reach your baby’s pediatrician should the need arise. Carry along a copy of your baby’s medical records and insurance card, too, in the event your baby becomes ill and needs to visit an emergency room.
Protect baby from the sun
Make sure you have plenty of baby-approved sunscreen, especially if you’re headed to the beach. Most doctors don’t recommend sunscreen for babies under six months of age. Instead, make sure they’re wearing sun-protective clothing.
Install sun protective car shades in the back seat to protect baby from the sun during travel. A portion of the sun’s rays can penetrate through glass and babies have less melanin to protect them from sun damage. It’s also important to protect your baby’s eyes from bright light as well. Sun protective car shades can help here too.
The sun, surf and sand are fun for the whole family, but babies need sun protection. If your baby is too young for sunscreen, dress your child in light, sun-protective clothing and a hat. Keep your little one in the shade as much as possible and avoid heading to the beach during hours when the sun’s rays are strongest, between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Don’t forget to bring along plenty of fluids. Babies can quickly become overheated and are more susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion than adults. Make sure your baby has shoes to protect their delicate tootsies from hot sand. Whatever you do, keep a watchful eye on them any time you’re near water.
Enjoy your vacation with peace of mind
Vacation is a chance for a baby to see new sights and learn, and it’s also an opportunity for you to relax. Take these precautions and make sure everyone comes back from vacation safe, happy and well-rested.