Being in an unknown environment with your children can heighten your worries and nerves over their safety. Here are our top tips to keep your family safe abroad, so that you can relax and have an enjoyable time.
When booking a hotel, a lot of websites or travel agents will ask you if you have any specific requests. This question often gets overlooked due to the excitement of booking a holiday. However, if you are travelling with small children, then this question could be your new best friend. If you are travelling with a buggy, and are given the option for any specific requests, you may want to ask to have a room on the ground floor. Staying in a room on the ground floor will make accessibility a lot easier, as you will not have to carry a buggy up the stairs or in a lift. Having a room on the ground floor will also mean they you will not have balcony facilities. Small children can easily get their body parts stuck between the bars of balconies, fall, or slip on them. Abta, the Association of British Travel Agents, have recently renewed their calls to travellers over balcony safety, and have issued a poster, video, and leaflet with balcony safety tips. Abta’s campaign can be found here.
If you are after a balcony, or are given a room with a balcony, there are steps that you can take to make them a safer environment for small children. Do not leave small children unsupervised when around a balcony. Unsupervised children could lead to slips, trips, and falls! It is also important to make sure all balcony furniture is moved away from the railings, so that small children cannot climb on to them, and potentially fall and injure themselves.
When around both swimming pools and on the beach, you should never leave children unattended. It is important that children are monitored at all times around the water for their safety. All children who are unable to swim, or not confident swimmers, should have sufficient floatation aids, so that they are able to float, if they were to ever get into any trouble in the water.
If you’re going on holiday, the last thing you really think about is car seats for the kids. If you are having a transfer to your hotel either by coach or taxi, or you are driving to your destination, or opting for a hired car, it is important that your children are strapped in appropriately for their age, height, and weight.
It is important to research what diseases are active in the country you are travelling to, in order to see if your family require any vaccinations. When travelling, you should be up-to-date with all of your regular routine jabs. In order to find out if anyone in your family require any immunizations, it is advised that you book an appointment to see your GP, preferably 4 to 6 weeks before you are set to travel. Your GP will be able to provide vaccinations they believe you may require, along with any advice you may need.
Dehydration is a common illness with holidaymakers, caused by not drinking enough fluid, to replace the fluid that our bodies lose, in sweat from the heat. With children taking up every opportunity to play and explore, it is crucial that they keep well hydrated if they are out in the sun for long periods of time. In order to replenish your fluid levels, be sure to drink plenty of water, especially if you are taking part in sporting activities, eat plenty of fruit, try to keep in the shade as much as possible, and try not to drink too much caffeine or alcohol.
Although sunscreen should be a priority for everyone in the sun, it is important that small children are topped up with a high factor sun cream, multiple times throughout the day, as they have far more delicate and sensitive skin. SPF (sun protection factor) measures the protection levels of your sun cream. The NHS urge people to wear sunscreen with a factor of at least SPF 15, and a UVA rating of at least 4 stars, when out in the sun.
It is also important that small children are kept in the shade, when on holiday. An easy way of keeping your little one protected from the sun on the go is a hat. Wearing a hat will protect their heads and faces from becoming burnt. All in one swimsuits are also a great way to protect your children from the sun!
Don’t forget, you can get your travel insurance from DirectTravel at either www.direct-travel.co.uk or ring our friendly team on 0330 880 3600.