Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Feeding Little Travelers On-The-Go!

Feeding your little traveller on the go can be challenging at times! Depending on your child's age, there are a myriad of considerations to take into account for your young traveller, from allergies to maintaining your regular feeding schedule. Below are a few quick tips for keeping your little explorer satisfied and safe!


Your child is never too young to suffer an allergic reaction, so before you embark on any trip you should be aware of any possible food allergies your child may have and pack any possible medication he or she may require if an allergen is encountered. Stow the appropriate medicines, prescriptions and portable epinephrine injector (“epi pens”) in your carry-on luggage, where you can access them easily in case of an emergency. If you are travelling by air, it’s a good idea to carry a note from your doctor authorizing the possession of an epi pen.

  • For train or air travel, pack a few extra bottles of formula in case of delays. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the TSA's limitations on carry-on liquids.
  • If your infant has started on jar foods or cereals, be sure to pack items he or she has already tried and has not had an adverse reaction to - vacation is no time to discover a new allergy.
  • Never attempt to bottlefeed or breastfeed an infant in a moving vehicle. Infants should always be strapped into an age-, weight-, and size-appropriate carseat when a vehicle is in operation.
  • When bottle feeding, hold the bottle at all times and control the angle to moderate the flow to suit your baby.
  • If baby is with you at the table, be sure to keep sharp or pointy items, hot liquids or dishes, and pills and other small items out of the his or her reach.
  • Also, avoid drinking hot drinks when breastfeeding.
  • Young children should always be closely supervised during feedings, and that can present some difficulty depending on your mode of transportation. Consider packing a portable feeding seat to stabilize and immobilize him or her during mealtimes.
  • To reduce the risk of choking, keep hard round foods, such as nuts and hard candy, out of very young children’s reach.  Cut your toddler’s food into very small bites.
  • Always make sure children eat while sitting down.
  • Keep all pills and medications separate from food items to avoid accidental ingestion by children. Also, watch carefully for loose magnets. If more than one is swallowed, they can attract each other in the body and cause serious injury or even death.
  • Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect that medication or poison may have been accidentally ingested by your child. This number will connect you to emergency help in your area. Keep the number in your cell phone.
  • Packing familiar items such as sippy cups, small spoons, straws, and bottles will help your child eat the way they have become accustomed to and can help prevent little mouths from overstuffing. 
  • Also, following your child's normal feeding schedule will help keep you child from experiencing the discomfort of extreme hunger which can lead to crankiness and tantrums.
A little knowledge and planning go a long way toward making on-the-go feeding safe, comfortable, and hassle-free; so spend a few extra minutes on packing and planning, because enjoying the journey is as important as enjoying the destination!
- Destination Mom

Friday, July 3, 2015

Hot Cars: Heatstroke Alert

image courtesy of blackzheep/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Awareness Can Save a Life:

Sadly, heatstroke is a leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for young children. The warning signs of heatstroke can include: 
  • Hot or red skin (dry or moist)
  • No sweating
  • Strong, rapid pulse (or slow, weak pulse)
  • Nausea
  • Confusion or strange behavior
Unfortunately, even the best parents or caregivers can forget a child in the back seat, particularly if their routine suddenly changes or the child falls asleep during the drive.

Regardless of whether you’re a parent, caregiver, or bystander, if you see a child left in a car during the summer, it’s imperative that you act immediately. Children are far more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults; in fact, they can overheat up to five times more quickly than an adult. Children should NEVER be left alone in a car, they can suffer heatstroke even with the windows open, and on overcast days, or days where temperatures don't exceed 75 degrees.

If you notice a child alone in a car, don’t hesitate to get involved; protecting children is everyone’s business, and “Good Samaritan” laws offer legal protection for those who offer assistance in an emergency. Should you see an unattended child in a vehicle, do not wait more than a few minutes for the driver to return. If the child is unresponsive or in distress, immediately call 911 and take whatever steps are necessary to remove the child from the car and gently spray him or her with cool water. If the child is responsive, stay there until help arrives. Ask someone to search for the driver or have the facility page the vehicle's owner.

Preventing Tragedy:

Constant vigilance and awareness can help parents and caregivers remember when a child is traveling in their car. These great suggestions can help prevent accidental abandonment which could result in severe injury or even fatality: 
  • Always check the back seats of your vehicle before your lock it and walk away.
  • Keep a stuffed animal or other memento in your child’s car seat when it’s empty, and move it to the front seat as a visual reminder when your child is in the back seat.
  • If someone else is driving your child, or your daily routine has been altered, always check to make sure your child has arrived safely.
  • Place your purse or briefcase in the back seat so that you look there before exiting the vehicle.
Remember, heatstroke in a hot car can happen very quickly, in only 10 minutes, a car’s temperature can rise over 20 degrees. Even at an outside temperature of 60 degrees, the temperature inside a closed vehicle could potentially reach up to 110 degrees; to offer prospective, a child dies when his/her body temperature reaches 107 degrees. So, if you see a child in a car, swift action can truly be the difference between life and death.

Safe and happy travels!
-Destination Mom

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2 Great, Cheap Travel Apps!

If there is one thing that can make travel more fun and simple, it's a great app! But with the whole, wide world of apps, how can you find the best ones without spending a fortune? We've got two (for under two dollars!) that just can't miss; so if you're heading out this summer, download one of these fantastic apps - you'll be glad you did!
  • Tripit - This fantastic travel organizer links with your email and makes it seamless for you to keep all of your information in one place. Flights, hotels, dinner reservations, tours,car service, etc.  Cost: FREE!
  • Allsubway - Boasts subway maps for 137 of the world’s most visited cities, the essential tourist's guide to public transportation. Cost: a mere $1.29!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Safety: 4 Lifesaving Recommendations!

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/
We all know that summer is a great time to get out and have some fun!  What you may not be aware of, however, is that summer is marked by a dramatic increase in accidental injuries and deaths among young children (aged 14 and under).  Data collected by Safe Kids Worldwide demonstrates that during summer months there is a marked increase in unintentional injury-related deaths attributed to drowning, biking, falls, and motor vehicle occupant activities among young children. 

The following guidelines and tips can help prevent such tragedies by reducing the likelihood of serious or fatal injury:

Water Safety

General: Always actively supervise children near water.  Begin teaching children to swim at age 4.  Teach children never to swim alone and never to dive into water less than 9-feet deep.  Obey all posted safety precautions at beaches and pools.

Pools: All pools should have a locking, gated, 4-sided isolation fence (preferably one that affords visual access, i.e. fine wire- or poly-mesh, wrought iron, etc.)  Door alarms, pool alarms, anti-entrapment devices and pool covers can also provide an additional layer of protection when used properly.

Open Water and Boats: Be sure children are equipped with appropriately sized life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard when on boats, near open bodies of water, or when participating in water sports. 

Bicycle/Scooter/Skateboard Safety

General:  Make sure children wear snug, properly-fitting helmets at all times when biking or riding scooters or skateboards.  Be sure children are using properly sized equipment (i.e. on a bicycle, your child's feet should touch the ground when they are sitting on the seat).  Teach children the rules of the road and be sure they obey all traffic laws.  Be a good example; when riding be sure you always wear a helmet and demonstrate proper etiquette and obey the law and all posted regulations.

Fall Prevention

Windows: Keep chairs, cribs, changing tables and other furniture away from windows. Install window guards on all windows above the first floor.  Don’t allow children to play on balconies, roofs, or near open windows.

Playgrounds: Actively supervise children at playgrounds.  Make sure they use only age-appropriate equipment.  Be sure playgrounds have soft-surface coverings (i.e. rubber, hardwood fiber mulch or fine sand) at least 12 inches deep, extending a minimum of six feet in all directions around the equipment.

Sports: Make sure kids wear appropriate protective gear, properly fitted when practicing and playing sports.

Motor Vehicle Safety

Car Seat Safety: Properly restrain all children ages 12 and under in a back seat on every ride.  Secure infants in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, and at least until they are 12 months old and weigh 20 pounds.  Secure children who weigh between 20 and 40 pounds in forward-facing car seats.  Secure children over 40 pounds in belt-positioning booster seats until an adult seat belt fits properly (at least 4' 9" tall and 80 to 100 pounds, for most children that's between ages 8 and 12).

Driveway/Garage Safety: Walk all the way around a parked vehicle to check for children before entering a car and starting the motor.  Toys should not be kept near parked cars as they can lure a child into a driver’s blind spot.

Entrapment/Heat Stroke/Suffocation: Never leave a child unattended in a car, even if the windows are open. Always keep your car locked.  Keep automobile keys out of children's reach and sight.  Make sure vehicle trunks are locked at all times. Keep rear fold-down seats closed so kids won't crawl into the trunk.  Have your car retrofitted with a release mechanism inside the trunk.

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy summer! 
-Destination Mom

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tips for Successfully Traveling with a Group!

Thinking of travelling with another family or other adults? Before you go, take some time to discuss these important details together:

  • Image courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
    what each person wants to get out of the trip (i.e., activities, sites  to visit, cuisines enjoyed, etc.)
  • how chores and childcare will be divided
  • how you'd like to balance spending time, together and apart
  • how you'll split the bills (best to discuss this way before the trip is finalized so that everyone's financial situation is accommodated and no one feels like they need to overspend!)

A simple discussion beforehand can help ensure that your trip is enjoyable and that everyone knows what to expect up front!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

For all our amazing Dads - know that when we count our blessings, we count you twice! 
Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kidecals: The Verdict Is In!

Image modified to protect privacy
Last week, we featured a great little company called Kidecals, and I mentioned that I had placed an order and would report back once I'd had a chance to use the product first-hand.  Well, I am very excited to report that my order arrived early yesterday morning, so I've had two days to play with them! 

To start with, the labels were even more beautiful than I had anticipated! I chose a simple round design with our family's initial in the center and then our contact information around the outer edge (see image at right - I put the white ring over my family's contact info for privacy purposes). I had spent some time customizing the color for the labels and was curious to see how "true to screen" my selection would be.  It was truly spot-on; now I know that monitor settings vary from user to user, so your mileage may vary, but the labels I received were exactly the color I chose!

I wanted to run the labels through the gamut of abuses they were designed to withstand, so I applied one to a travel mug (which I microwaved hot tea in and then ran through the dishwasher -  top shelf, heated dry cycle), one on my daughter's backpack (which is really being pushed to the limit as she is clearing her desk out for the year), one on a sweatshirt jacket (I placed it on the tag and ran it through the washing machine and dryer, using hot water to wash and high heat to dry), and one on my cell phone case (because I loved how it looked!). I am thrilled to report that all the labels remained in place, did not fade, crack, melt, or peel off - not even in the dishwasher! I was staggered! I have melted plastic storage containers in my dishwasher, so I was sure the hot-cup label would melt or peel, but it looked as good coming out as it did going in!

I can now say without reservation that Kidecals are truly excellent; the quality is top notch, the ordering process is easy and fun, the shipping was free and fast, and the wide variety of decals and labels guarantees there's something for everyone! So if you are in the market for a personalized, attractive, high-quality organizational tool, I highly recommend Kidecals!