Topic of the Month

August 2010
Think Smart...Parent Smart

Remember when traveling was fun, easy, and sometimes even spur–of-the moment? And then you had kids and vacations became a much needed and sought after luxury where you stressed about where to go, how to pack, and how to get there.

Well, whether you have a newborn, active toddlers, or a preschooler and one on the way, vacations can still be exciting and worth the effort if you do your research, plan accordingly, and think smart…parent smart!

Since your baby was born, her needs come first in every decision you make - vacation is no different. Plan a vacation around the current needs of your children. Select destinations that are age appropriate. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to slap on the mouse ears and head straight to Florida the first chance you get either. There are plenty of resorts/hotels/rental homes/etc. that offer entertainment and amenities that appeal to a variety of little ones.

Before you go, get answers to important questions like:

  • Does your hotel allow babies with swim diapers in the pool?
  • Is your room located near a noisy ice machine, elevators or night club?
  • How far is the house from the beach?
  • Can I take the stroller on the beach/pool?
  • Does the hotel/house have a crib or play yard free of charge? Is it JPMA Certified or meet current safety standards?(Check out the hotel crib safety checklist below)
  • If it rains, are there activities for my children?
  • What is the room set up like so mom and dad have something to do while baby naps?

By Plane!

If flying, be sure to visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for guidelines. TSA has a variety of helpful videos segmented into age groups to help guide you through the check-in process including:

  • Sending your baggage and stroller or car seat through the x-ray
  • Walking through the metal detectors with children
  • What to do with formula, medication, and breast milk now that there are limitations on flying with liquids. 

The good news is medication, baby formula and food, breast milk, and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. However, keep in mind, water is not allowed so it has to be premixed with the formula prior to the security checkpoint.

By Car!

If driving, your trip should be very tailored to the age of your children when determining the length of drive. Only you know how long your children will last in the car, but following these simple guidelines is a good start:

  • Bring extra food and drinks, even if you stop for meal breaks.
  • Pack strategically so everything you may need is within arms reach, including activities, books, and a special blanket or teddy for sleeping.
  • If potty training, bring a portable potty for the car. Don’t forget the toilet paper, wipes, and extra set of clothes.
  • Know when to stop and when to keep going. Active toddlers need plenty of breaks to stretch and energize.

Hotel and Motel Crib and Play Yard Safety Checklist

Provided by the CPSC

Crib brand name and model # ___________________________________

Check the crib for the following safety hazards:

1. Crib has been recalled (check on CPSC's web site).

__Y

__N

2. Crib slats are more than 23/8 inches (60 mm) apart.

__Y

__N

3. Slats are loose, missing, or cracked.

__Y

__N

4. Mattress is too loose -- more than two finger-widths between the edge of the mattress and the crib side.

__Y

__N

5. Corner posts are higher than 1/16th inch (11/2 mm).

__Y

__N

6. There are cutouts in the headboard or foot board.

__Y

__N

7. Drop-side latches could be easily released by baby.

__Y

__N

8. Screws or bolts that secure crib components are loose.

__Y

__N

9. Mattress support is not securely attached to head/foot board.

__Y

__N

10. Crib is provided with a normal sheet instead of a crib sheet.

__Y

__N

11. Crib is provided with a pillow, comforter, or soft bedding.

__Y

__N

For more information on traveling with baby including car seat and stroller safety tips, visit http://www.jpma.org/content/retailers/safe-and-sound