A time comes when all new parents are faced with the challenge of taking their children on a holiday. One of the best times to travel is during their summer vacation. It is a time of recreation and enjoyment for most children, but it is also a time of increased risk to their health. The dangers of strong sunshine, pool accidents, and safety issues when travelling abroad are a constant worry for many parents. A few simple precautions can help keep your child safe in the summer.
If you are intending to travel abroad with your children this summer, it is important to prepare and plan everything ahead. You should research the country, culture, and specific area you want to visit; some cultures have laws and rules that may differ from your own, and knowing these in advance will help to avoid trouble.
You should also check the official travel advice for the country you want to visit, as this can provide you with information on safety, food hygiene, and any vaccinations you may need.
Research your accommodation thoroughly before confirming your booking, and ask the following questions:
- What facilities do they have for children?
- What precautions and systems do they have in place to ensure the safety of children – screening of visitors, CCTV on major corridors, main entrance and exit doors, inside the elevators.
- Do they have any uncovered water sources (e.g. a pool or pond), and are these monitored by a qualified lifeguard?
- Does anyone at the hotel have emergency first aid training?
- How far is the nearest hospital?
- Do they have in-house babysitting services? Accredited babysitting Agencies?
Once you arrive at your destination, check the accommodation and surrounding area thoroughly. Pay particular attention to making sure that any water sources are covered or supervised, and any children’s play areas are free from potential hazards. Take a walk around and make a mental note of where the emergency equipment is stored, and jot down the numbers for local emergency services.
Water is one of the biggest potential dangers for children travelling abroad. Safety standards differ from country to country, and extra care should be taken to supervise small children when visiting a new environment. It’s not only pools and the sea you need to be vigilant about; a shallow paddling pool can be deep enough to drown a small child within three minutes.
Finally, remember that the sun in a foreign country may be much stronger than your children are used to. Use a sun block or sun lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor), and cover them up as much as possible to protect their skin. Try to stay in the shade when the sun is at its strongest. Once you are prepared you can focus on enjoying your vacation.