Family get-aways are supposed to be fun, memory-making adventures, yet each year countless toddlers and young children sustain serious injuries while on vacation; sadly, these accidents often could have been prevented with just a few minutes attention and a few easy-to-install childproofing devices. The Travel-Tot team is dedicated to providing parents with the tools and information they need to make vacation stays safer and more relaxing; so we are pleased to offer this quick, easy checklist of tips for childproofing your home-away-from-home (down-loadable checklist available here!):
- It is CRITICAL to visually inspect each part of your room thoroughly from the vantage point of your child. Get down low: look beneath and behind furniture, drapes, sinks, toilets, and heaters for loose pills, pins, or other overlooked items that could pose a choking or poisoning hazard - you may be surprised what you find.
- Call the front desk to see if you could have decorative items (floral arrangements, statuary, bowls of potpourri, etc.) removed from the room (or simply gather them yourself and put them somewhere where little hands cannot reach them).
- Bring and install childproofing devices (such as those found in the Travel-Tot Travel Childproofing Kit).
- Secure blind cords.
- Keep low cabinet doors shut with straps.
- Secure corner guards onto furniture.
- Place pinch guards on interior swinging doors.
- Install guards on interior sliding doors.
- Insert outlet covers into unused outlets.
- If your little traveler is curious about the toilet, be sure to place a doorknob protector on the handle or install a locking strap if the door has a lever handle.
- Ensure that all locks and latches on exterior doors are in working order and secure them to prevent unsupervised access to stairs, balconies, and terraces.
- Keep all furniture away from doors and windows to prevent access to locks and accidental falls.
- Arrange furniture to allow for some safe, open play space.
- Keep cribs away from curtains and tables. Drapes, curtains, lamps, and other electrical devices can be deadly if pulled into crib by a baby or young child.
- For all cribs: remove pillows, toys, or blankets that may cause suffocation or strangulation.
If you use a hotel-provided crib be sure it is up to standards with the Consumer Product Safety Commission: slats no more than 2 3/8 inches apart and all sides should be fixed (no drop sides).
- Unplug electrical appliances and store in a locked drawer or cabinet.
- Store personal care items out of the reach of children. Use a hanging toiletry bag and lock it inside the closet hanging up high out of the reach of little hands…it’s not just medications that have to be stored out of reach of children, many cosmetics can be toxic.
The fifteen minutes takes to inspect and childproof your guest room could be the difference between a fun-filled day of frolicking and spending your precious vacation time in the Emergency Room. While no childproofing devices or efforts are a substitute for vigilant parental supervision, installing just a few childproofing mechanisms (such as those found in the Travel-Tot Travel Childproofing Kit) can considerably decrease the odds of your children injuring themselves on unsecured doors, outlets, drawers, sharp corners, or loose cords. These simple steps can not only help make your home-away-from-home safer, but can create a more relaxing space for everyone!
Safe and happy travels!