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Child Safety On Family Vacation
We all look forward to our upcoming family vacation. The next road trip with our kids or holiday travels with a new baby. Any getaway where we will make lasting memories with our children. It’s a given we will load our social media with the joys of a well-deserved break from the daily grind. But when you are on vacation it’s not always at the forefront of your mind thinking about how to keep your children safe while traveling.
Of course, as parents we know all too well with all that fun comes new and potential dangers. Activities that are not typically part of our normal day. Traveling brings new surroundings with different routines.
Sometimes meeting new people that are not in our normal trust zone. And a lot of times the places we visits are busy with tourists. We can easily become distracted by the new sights and sounds. And of course, being focused on our GPS or navigating a map for our next turn can make it hard to be fully engaged. All these factors together can make it hard to keep your children safe.
How to Keep Your Children Safe While Traveling?
We never want to dwell on all the bad or negative things that can happen. However, a bit of awareness and some thoughtful preparation can go a long way toward a relaxing vacation with your kids.
With that in mind, below are 5 quick wins. They will help you relax and feel comfortable on your next family vacation. If it is across town, across the country, or across the ocean we can help simplify your family adventures.
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5 Best Ways to Keep Your Children Safe on a Family Vacation
After many years and lots of miles traveling with our children locally, regionally and internationally, these are the travel hacks we have learned. We want to share them with you to give you peace of mind and help keep your children safe while you travel.
1. Picture Perfect
The first thing I always do before we leave, and you can do this every morning of your trip before you head out, is to take a clear straight-on photo with your phone of all your children in the clothes they are wearing that day. This way if…[sigh] if… something happens, then you will have a picture that’s worth a thousand words.
If you become separated from your child, it will help those who are looking for your child if they know (and can see) exactly what the child is wearing. Finding them quickly will help keep your children safe.
You may think, “I’ll remember what they are wearing”, but in the heat of the moment maybe you’re wrong or under the stress of worry could you forget? We typically snap 100 pictures a day of our little’s. Just one more never hurts, to aid if the unthinkable actually happened. It’s definitely worth it!
2. Use a Safety Leash to Keep Your Children Safe
I know what you’re thinking. I’m not a huge fan of them either. In fact, we use the kind with a soft plush animal as a backpack and call it a love latch. A child safety leash can truly be a lifesaver in a super busy airport, on a city street with cars zipping by. Of course in a hectic marketplace or festival — really any place that you may get distracted and your speedy toddler may bolt. Also, curious children may be prone to wandering off unexpectedly. We save our Monkey Backpack with long tail for special occasions like I’ve described above so it does not become something bad but a special privilege to get to wear the monkey backpack. Check it out here.
We don’t use the child safety leash every time we go out, but has it EVER been a blessing in a few situations. The kids love it because it has a roomy pocket for their own special things, and they “get to give” the monkey a “piggyback ride”. Oh, the things we will do to keep our children safe.
3. Wristband your Child for Safety
Get a pack of bright colored paper wristbands, like the ones you see at a carnival or fair that are hard to tear off. Cut it down a bit shorter for a little wrist or ankle. Put it over long sleeves or pant legs so it’s easy to see.
Normally they are neon-colored so they stand out. Write your phone number on that bracelet, we don’t write our names just our cell phone number. That way when a helpful person sees your scared, lost, little toddler they can give you a quick ring on the phone. It’s not perfect but helps ease some of the anguish when you lose sight of them for a split second.
I picked up a pack of the wristbands here and keep a few in my diaper bag for unforeseen times when they may be needed. You can get custom printed ones like these, but the basic ones with a sharpie work fine too.
4. Slip a Tile to Keep Your Children Safe
Another idea my husband has used to keep our children safe is to slip this little TILE Mate into their pocket. You can also attach it with this keyring with a protective sleeve to the hole in the corner of the Tile to make it more secure. It will be much harder for your child, or someone with malicious intent, to remove the device. With the Tile on our daughter, we can sound a loud beeper or track her from the cell phone if, heaven forbid, she really got far away.
We will also pop the TILE Mate into our girls’ carry-on bags at the airport, or personal items, in case they lay their bags down somewhere. I’m not so big on the tech stuff but Doug LOVES these things!
5. Teach your Kids about Strangers
Teach your kids about strangers. We don’t teach our kids the way we were taught. This may be controversial but we don’t teach Stranger Danger. Rather we teach “tricky people trick people”. Therefore, we don’t see all strangers as threats, but rather some strangers can be a lifeline.
What if your child got lost in an unfamiliar place? You don’t want them to be terrified of all adults that can get them help. Here is a list of a few ways to remind your kids about “tricky people” from Safely Ever After. Go over these as a reminder just before you head out on a family vacation, travel overseas, take a road trip with the kids, or a holiday away from it all.
- Replace the word “stranger” with “tricky person” It’s not what someone looks like, it’s what they say or want to do with a child that makes them unsafe or “tricky”.
- A “tricky person” can be someone you know well, don’t know at all, or maybe just know a little bit. Anyone who tries to get a child to break their safety rules or hurt their body is not okay.
- Practice personal safety strategies with your children. What would they do if they were lost or separated from you? What would they say if someone asked them for directions or assistance?
Our oldest daughter has never met a stranger, she loves to make friends with everyone. So the concept of a “safe person or a tricky person” was very good for her. A “tricky person” we explain is a person who asks you to disobey a rule that we have put in place. Or it could be an adult that asks you to help them with something. We say, “adults should never have to ask kids for help period unless one of us is around”.
Wrap-up of Child Safety While Traveling
These are a few ideas to keep your children safe, and you can add your own. Just keep it simple for a younger child.
In addition to keeping your child safe, it is also important to know the best strategies to stay healthy while traveling with children.
Please let me know in the comments if you have thoughts, experiences, or ideas to expand on any of these tips about child safety while traveling. We love to learn and to always be updating our family’s safety practices that help keep all of our kids safe while traveling.
Share this with any friends or family that might be traveling. And share it on your social media platforms, as you never know who this might help.
And remember, let’s BE Family and BE Safe so you can enjoy the journey.
Until next time,
💖 Ruth & Doug
For more about family travel check out these posts:
Simplifying a Road Trip with Kids
Travel With Kids – Breaking Free After Covid-19
Strategies to Stay Healthy While Traveling with Children
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