There are many things to think about before and during a holiday with your family, but we can all agree that child safety is paramount. So we’ve put together a list of hints and tips to keeping your loved ones safe and having fun while abroad.
Where’s my child?
Children have a terrible habit of wandering-off, this we know and while at home it isn’t usually such a worry, on holiday that fear is suddenly heightened. News stories litter the pages of our national newspapers every summer and while we say that it’ll never happen to our children, what if it did?
Arranging a pre-agreed place to meet can be very important. It’s also free. Make it clear to your child that if he or she should ever lose you, to return to the last place they remember being with you, supposing that it is a public place.
If that isn’t an option (they are too lost to find their way back), then going to an official person (Policeman/woman) or even a mother with children. Your child should always carry with them a note of their address when abroad and contact details for you (their parents). Write it down, put it in a sealable/waterproof bag and place that bag in a zip pocket. Nearly all children have zip-pockets and if they don’t you can tape it to their wrists or hang it from their necks.
Some of you might prefer the more tech-savvy method. For you, here’s the Toddler Tag
(TT). The TT retails at approximately £100, which might put it out of some people’s price-range, but for those that are interested, the Toddler Tag might be ideal. It sounds an alarm when the child is 30 feet away from your transmitter and even if they’re not that far away, you can manually cause the Tag to alert with a high-pitched, unique frequency. Some even come with GPS tracking.
Take a first aid course before you go on holiday. Chances are you’re going to be near the sea or at least a swimming pool so it’s very important to know how to perform resuscitation. The difference between you saving a child’s life and waiting on an ambulance could be tragic. A typical Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course in the UK can be taken for £40 and only takes two hours. If that’s not ideal, there’s also an app
Know where the local hospital is and how to get there. We’re not advocating driving over using calling an ambulance, but you might not have the option. Many families hire a car for their holiday and knowing where the hospital is when you’re out and about exploring the countryside could be very beneficial.
Does the hotel pool have a lifeguard?
Not all hotels do. Know before you go. Not because it would change your mind about your holiday in general, but if the hotel doesn’t employ a lifeguard, knowing that gives you time to plan ahead. What do we mean by that?
This is the Kingii
, an inflatable armband that magically, OK, technically inflates from a band on your child or elderly family member’s wrist.
Apply sun cream regularly. This cannot be over-stated. Children are in and out of the water so much it’ll make your head spin and the more they swim, the less protected they are. Water is no barrier to the effects of the Sun’s UV rays. Apply before you leave the hotel room, re-apply once you are at the pool/beach and re-apply every 30 minutes (at least). Remember, it doesn’t matter how annoyed your children get, being slathered with sun cream repeatedly is a hundred times better than After-sun.
For smaller children mainly but don’t ignore the older ones too (you). Beach shoes/sandals, whatever you want to call them can be the difference between a little chaffing on the foot and standing on a sea anemone or sharp rock. If the toy floats off to sea, don’t swim after it
Like the ball in the road, train your children that if a toy floats-off in the sea – don’t swim after it! The tide can be stronger than you or they know and most beaches don’t have lifeguards.
Don’t use the public toilet alone
Here or there, home or abroad – don’t let your children use the public toilets unsupervised. Of course they’ll need to go, so go with them. If you’re in the middle of training them to use the toilet solo, standing by the main door, and calling in that you’re there, not to worry, everything’s fine will set their mind at ease.
Glow in the dark clothing
If you’re out at night, off for a family meal, be aware of the roads. The traffic comes from a different direction, the street lights aren’t always on and many people ride mopeds at silly speeds (a stereotype, but so what). Hold hands, look both ways and wear something that glows in the dark. For children it’s a fun thing, for adults…tough.