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Safe Havens: Safety Checks For Vacationing Families

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

It’s that season again, where school’s out and everyone is heading out, even if just for the weekend. And, besides a good time what every family wants from their family vacation is a safe trip…and that means not only making sure you have everything you need, including car seats, busy activities for kids, floats, and sunscreen, but it also means looking into your destination location and ensuring it is family friendly.

Experts suggest finding out as many specifics about the hotel and the room well ahead of time, contacting the hotel and letting them know how many kids you have (and are bringing along) and making the necessary arrangements, including getting the most spacious room with enough room for kid stuff including a crib or playpen (if necessary). Ask about a mini refrigerator for any med or snacks you’ll need for you and your family and look into room service noting kid-friendly option that are easily available and affordable. And, if children are too little to shower, make sure your room has a tub where you can bath them, especially if they are too big for the sink.

After check-in take some time to get familiar with the room, area, hotel, and surrounding. Show children who are old enough to understand all emergency exits and look around for any potential dangers that just may compromise a child’s well-being or safety. Experts suggest checking to make sure that windows can be locked or opened by curious toddlers, pushing all furniture away from window, limiting a youngster’s access to harm’s way, tucking drapes or blind cords and all other cords up and away from the reach or sight of children. You may also want to childproof electrical outlets and the toilet seat; as well as padding any sharp edges or surfaces that may result in boo boos.

Also, because different states have different laws when it comes to childcare and licensing you’ll want to look into that as well. Most hotels offer drop-in or short-term day care, but it’s best to get details before booking with a particular resort. And, it’s also wise to do your homework on how the hotel hires its sitters, including what credentials they ask for and what types of background checks they ask for. If you’re staying at a resort and they offer a day or camp program, make sure the hours of availability for “sitting services” coincide with your intended plans.

Make sure to make a list of MUSTS to leave with the sitter or others, such as friends who may be on vacation with you and who’ll share in taking turns taking care of the kids. Include on your list your kids likes, dislikes, medications, allergies, nap times, fears, eating preferences, physical abilities, favourite shows, etc. And, don’t forget your cell or to leave a number where you can immediately be reached; as well as the name of your child’s pediatrician along with a letter (including signature) that gives permission for emergency medical care if necessary.

Long Island Travel & Leisure Articles > Safe Havens: Safety Checks For Vacationing Families

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