Holiday Travel Safety Tips
Traveling during the holidays can be stressful, especially if you have little ones. Here are some safety tips from the Center for Family Health and Safety to help keep your family safe this year:
- Give yourselves plenty of time when traveling to avoid the stress of being rushed.
- Check the weather of the place you are visiting and pack accordingly.
- Make sure you review the Security Screening rules from TSA to make sure you aren’t traveling with prohibited items. (For a full list, visit TSA.gov.)
- Check your airline’s website for special rules and fares for infants and children.
- To prevent most illnesses, make sure your family is up-to-date with their immunizations.
- If you are traveling out of the country, make sure everyone’s passports are up-to-date.
- Plan to take your car seat.
- If you are unable to bring one, arrange to have a car seat at your destination. Most rental car companies can provide you with a car seat if you are unable to bring one.
- If you are traveling somewhere cold, make sure that you remove all bulky coats. Winter coats should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat.
- Bring your own pack ‘n play (portable playpen, crib, bassinet, etc.) or borrow one from a family member who might not be using one.
- Most likely your sleeping environment will not be the same as in your own home. Avoid sharing a bed with an infant.
Preparing for Your Flight
- Double check your flight schedule to make sure the plane is arriving on time.
- Call or check your flight online a few hours before you need to leave.
- If possible, print your boarding passes at home to save time.
- Pack essential items in your carry-on luggage:
- Diapers, medicine, extra clothes, snacks, toys, etc.
- Don’t travel with liquids over 3 ounces.
- Note: The 3-ounce rule doesn’t apply to baby food, breast milk and formula.
- Make sure these items are reachable in the airport and on the flight.
- Purchase water, juice, etc. AFTER you go through security.
- When going through security, let the TSA officer know if your child has a disability, medical condition or medical device.
- Remove shoes, jackets and headwear before you get up to the metal detectors or scanners.
- Note: Children under 12 do not have to remove anything.
- If you are traveling with an infant, you will be able to carry them through the metal detector.
Making the Long Drive
- Pack essential items in your luggage:
- Diapers, medicine, extra clothes, snacks, toys, water, etc.
- Make sure these items are reachable in the car.
- Map your travel route ahead of time. Try and scheduling your driving time around the child’s nap time.
- Be sure to make frequent stops for bathroom breaks and to stretch your legs.
- This will also help break up the boredom of being on the road for so long.
- If you are traveling with another adult, split the driving time in half to prevent someone falling asleep at the wheel.
- Never drink and drive.
- Keep your child in the car seat at all times when the vehicle is moving. If you are breastfeeding, pull over to nurse the baby.
- Never leave a child alone in the vehicle, not even for just a minute.
For more information on holiday travel, visit the CDC.gov.