Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Safety Kick-Off!

It's vacation season, and we at Travel-Tot know that family trips are where some of life's most magical memories are made!  That said, traveling with small children presents certain challenges and hazards which can detract from the joy of the journey.  But now you can easily provide a basic level of protection from many common hazards in just minute’s time with the Travel-Tot Childproofing Kit.  The Travel-Tot Childproofing Kit provides easily portable childproofing for hotels, motels, and even vacation homes! It’s an easy, temporary, non-damaging solution designed to keep little ones safe anywhere you go. All items requiring application are fastened with temporary, non-damaging adhesive strips. Components require no tools and can be installed in about 5 minutes; they go on strong, and come off clean! Just follow the enclosed directions. 

In addition to using the helpful devices in the Travel Childproofing Kit, below are a few basic steps you can take to make your home-away-from-home more safe and relaxing for everyone:

10 Toddler-Proofing Travel Tips!
  1. Get down on your hands and knees and explore the room from your toddler’s perspective; be sure to thoroughly check under beds and furniture for stray pills, buttons, pins, or other items that could pose a poisoning or choking hazard.
  2. Arrange furniture away from windows or doors to prevent accidental escapes or falls.
  3. Use guards to tie up electrical and blind cords which can pose a choking hazard to your little explorer.
  4. Secure low cabinet doors shut with pinch guards to reduce risk of injury.
  5. 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.
  6. If your little traveler is curious about the toilet, be sure to place a doorknob protector on the handle to prevent unsupervised access.
  7. Sanitize surfaces, door handles, faucets, remotes, phone handsets, light switches, and any other object from which your toddler could potentially contract germs with disinfecting wipes.
  8. Check water temperatures before you give your child a bath; the water may be hotter than what you are accustomed to at home and could pose a burn hazard.
  9. If your toddler is a restless sleeper or is new to sleeping in a “big bed,” you may want to pack a portable guard-rail, or move the bed against a wall and use a chair along the open side to prevent a fall.
  10. Finally, be sure to arrange the furniture in a way that allows for some play space; a room full of “no-nos” will result in a bored and irritated toddler, which will lead to a stressed and anxious parent!
Wishing you safe and happy travels!
-Destination Mom

Friday, May 23, 2014

Magic for Autism!

Disney World 2009
This week, we are very excited to feature an amazing vacation opportunity for families who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  If you have dreamed of taking your ASD child to visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida but felt it would be too overwhelming or just didn’t know how, Magic for Autism is a program you won't want to miss! Slated for October 2014, there is still plenty of time to get on-board with this great trip! Magic for Autism is brought to you by ASD Vacations in conjunction with Wings for Autism, and Autism on the Seas, and provides the following services and support to families traveling to the Magic Kingdom with a child with ASD:

  • Special SUPPORTED Flights
    • You take a very special flight, with other families whose children have ASD. That’s right, you have other families on board who face many of the same issues as you do. Instead of being judged, you’ll find help. Maybe you’ll get to help another family when they need it!
    • If yours is the only family leaving from your local airport, you will receive an Individual Flight Assistance Package, at no cost. ASD will make arrangements with your airline and with TSA on your behalf.
  • Amazing LOW rates at selected Walt Disney World Resorts
  • Built in Respite SUPPORT with your resort reservation
    • When you get to your destination, ASD will provide qualified, experienced, screened staff for respite breaks and support. 
  • CUSTOMIZED Options to fit you, your special child’s needs, and your whole family’s dreams. (Including Customized Respite/Support Options)
  • A special discount on Travel-Tot's Travel Childproofing Kit 
    • Provides easily portable childproofing! It’s an easy, temporary, non-damaging solution designed to keep little ones safe anywhere you go. All items requiring application are fastened with non-damaging adhesive strips. Components require no tools and can be installed in about 5 minutes; they go on strong, and come off clean! Just follow the enclosed directions. (Discount code provided during reservation.)

This remarkable vacation opportunity has been very well-received and reservations are filling up fast!  To check out the program and for details on how you can build your Magic Vacation, click here!

Safe, happy, and magical travels!
-Destination Mom

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

26 Great Reasons to Visit The Emerald Isle!

This week, we are pleased to present this fun info-graphic on Ireland, brought to you by Eva at Killarney Hotels!  Go ahead and explore the Emerald Isle, alphabet style!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Summer Safety Tips!

image courtesy of artur84/
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, May 13, 2014

Sites We Love: Bright Lights, Big City!

This week we are proud to introduce one of our favorite resources for our urban readers: Red Tricycle!   Red Tricycle is a free website and e-mail newsletter that strives to serve its readership by providing tons of ideas for cool things to see, eat, make, and do with their children locally; Red Tricycle is truly an invaluable tool for those who live in or visit your local metro area!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Summer 2014: What's New in Amusement Parks and Attractions!

image courtesy of foto76/
Who doesn't love a theme park?  Everyone has a favorite, and visitors of all ages spend countless hours each year enjoying their dizzying array of rides and attractions! This week we are thrilled to share a link, provided by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA), to an updated list featuring the latest and greatest in amusement parks and attractions for 2014!

The IAAPA, founded in 1918, is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. Industry experts are excited to announce that families will find something new this year at many of the most popular parks across North America! 
The diversity of new attractions opening for families to enjoy together this summer is incredible,” said IAAPA President and CEO Paul Noland. “Whether visiting your neighborhood park or your favorite vacation destination, there are amazing new rides and attractions for the entire family opening across North America. 
A list of these new attractions, consumer tips for summer fun, and other information is available here (including a state by state listing of new attractions!) and for some fantastic images, check out this link

Safe and happy adventuring!
-Destination Mom

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Travel Sites We Love: Tropicalogy!

Planning a tropical getaway for your family?  Head over to Tropicalogy, a phenomenal website that can help you plan the perfect tropical vacation! The site caters to a wide audience, and features plenty of family-friendly destination tours and fun activities, as well as a nice selection of villas to make a stay more economical and private for families traveling with kids of any age. There's also great local advice and near real-time info about what's happening at most tropical destinations.  One visit and you'll be hooked!

image courtesy of

Friday, May 2, 2014

Boating Safety Tips!

image courtesy of khunaspix/
Summer is a great time to take to the water in lakes, oceans, and rivers; they're great places for boating, swimming, and play! But they are also places where people die. While that may sound dramatic, it is tragically true.  Countless people, including children, drown or nearly drown every summer in boating-related incidents; incidents that could have been prevented if basic boating and water safety guidelines had been observed.

One of our readers of Marine Engine Parts of Riverhead, NY, a leading parts supplier for pleasure boaters, is beginning a campaign to promote boat and water safety and asked that we share the boating and water safety tips below:

  • Practice vigilant parental supervision - Whenever your children are on or near water, be there with them.  If you cannot be in the water with them, keep them constantly in your line of sight and within easy reach.
  • Create a Float Plan Before Setting Out - In an emergency, every second counts.  Without a float plan you are counting on someone else (i.e., a friend, neighbor, or family member) to remember detailed information that rescue personnel need in order to find you; information that can make the difference between life and death.  Download a free form here.
  • Get a Vessel Safety Check - Even if you've been boating for years, a safety check of your vessel can only help ensure that it is safe from potentially dangerous defects and identify areas where deadly carbon monoxide may build-up.  You can schedule a free safety check with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary here!
  • Take a Boating Safety Course - According to the US Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center, only abut 40% of boat owners report having taken a boating safety course, and over 50% of accidents can be attributed to inexperience and operator error. Investing in a boating safety course can help save lives and help prevent property damage.
  • Use approved flotation devices - No matter how strong a swimmer you or your child may be, if traveling in a boat on the open water, a Coast Guard approved flotation device should be mandatory. Be sure your vessel has enough life jackets for every passenger and be certain that they are in good repair and sized appropriately for both adults and children.
  • Never Boat Under the Influence - The use of alcohol is involved in about a third of all recreational boating fatalities.  Never operate a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and never accept a ride on a vessel whose operator is suspected to be under the influence.
  • Know Your Limits - If manually using a boat (i.e., kayaking, row-boating, or canoeing), don't venture into dangerous waters or venture too far out that you tire and cannot make it back to the launch spot.
  • Have your child take child swim lessons - Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest returns on investment there is.  Children gain familiarity with the water and learn basics such as treading water and floating.  Lessons can save lives.
  • Use caution around open water when swimming - Rivers, lakes, oceans and other open bodies of water can have dangerous currents or sudden drop-offs; swim only in areas with lifeguards where conditions have been determined to be reasonably safe.  Discourage diving in any body of water unless the area is designated as safe for diving. Swim only in posted areas and obey all posted signage.
  • Be prepared - In addition to always carrying first aid and emergency supplies on-board, learn (adult and infant and child) CPR and keep a phone nearby in case of an emergency.

Safe and happy travels.

- Destination Mom