Holiday Travel: Tips to Consider
By DeLancey Fowler, FNP-C, Enterprise Pediatric Clinic
As we approach the holiday season, travel is common and may bring some concerns, especially when traveling with kids. When visiting friends and family during the holiday season, take a few extra precautions to be sure your children stay safe and healthy.
Remember that the homes you visit sometimes may not be childproof. Keep an eye out for dangerous items such as unlocked cabinets, unattended purses, accessible cleaning or laundry products, stairways, etc.
Keep a list of important phone numbers that you or a babysitter could need in case of an emergency. Include the police and fire department, your pediatrician, and the National Poison Help Line, 1-800-222-1222.
Always make sure your child rides in an appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. In cold weather, children in car safety seats should wear thin layers with a blanket over the top of the harness straps if needed, not a thick coat or other thick clothing items. All children under the age of 13 should ride in the rear seats of cars. Plan to stop and take driving breaks for you and your child at least every two hours.
Traveling, visiting family members, getting presents, shopping, and other holiday events can all increase your child’s stress levels. These events are not in your child’s usual routine and can cause your child some emotional stress. Try to stick to your child’s usual routines, including sleep schedules and timing of naps, to help you and your child enjoy the holidays and reduce stress.
Pack a bag of toys to help keep your child entertained during plane or car rides. Allow extra time for security when flying, especially if traveling with young children.
Frequent hand washing or sanitizing is always important when traveling or spending time with family members. Cold, flu and RSV season may be in full swing during these holiday events, and it is always okay to set some ground rules for loved ones who want to touch or hold your baby.
Finally, remember to soak in all the memories your family and loved ones are making and to remember what the holiday season is all about. Our children simply want us to be present and in the moment.
About the Author
DeLancey Fowler, FNP-C
DeLancey Fowler is a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner licensed by the Alabama Board of Nursing and certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, from Troy University and Master of Science degree in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. Her training includes the Medical Intensive Care unit at Flowers Hospital and Dothan Pediatric Clinic.