Family vacation time! 6 tips for safe summer travels
July 07, 2022
Mom putting life jacket on small daughter

    Summer is prime travel season. Whether heading to the beach or on another fun adventure, be sure to take measures to keep kids safe.

    Safe Kids Virginia offers the following travel tips to prevent injuries and maximize summer fun.

    1. Buckle up for every ride

    Every person should wear a seat belt on every ride. Resist the urge to let kids unbuckle and recline for a snooze on a long trip or think “we’re just going down the street to the ice cream shop, they don’t need to buckle.” Crashes can happen anywhere and seat belts save lives.

    1. Check your safety seats

    You may be surprised to learn that most car seats aren’t used or installed correctly. Make sure you’re using the right car seat for your child and that it’s installed in your vehicle properly. Safety seats aren’t just for babies! Older kids need booster seats until they’re big enough for the adult seat belt to fit properly. The back seat is the safest place for all children under age 13.

    Safety seats are important when flying too. Check to make sure your child’s seat is labeled “certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” You’ll need it for any road travel when you get to your destination too.

    1. Secure loose objects

    Put beach chairs, umbrellas and anything else that could fly forward during a crash in the trunk. If you have a van, SUV or other vehicle without a trunk, make sure these items are buried in the back with heavy and soft items on top to prevent them from causing injury.

    1. Exit the road for pit stops

    Keep the items you’re likely to need – like healthy snacks, wipes, etc. – within arm’s reach. In the event you need something from the back of the vehicle or the little one needs a diaper change, take the next exit and find a safe place to unbuckle and get out of the car.

    1. Think through child proofing when not at home

    When visiting relatives or staying in a rental, remember to do a sweep of the space to identify safety risks. Are medications out of sight and out of reach? How about knives, cleaners and other items you’re probably used to being safely stored at home? If you’ll be with family and friends who aren’t used to having young kids around, remind them about these safety measures too.

    1. Water safety

    Summer destinations often include water. When kids are in or near the pool, have a designated adult water watcher for a certain period, such as 15 minutes, without distractions then rotate to another adult. It can be easy to assume someone else is watching, so make sure it’s clear whose turn it is so all adults know.

    Teach children that open water – such as a lake, ocean or river – is very different from a pool. Make sure they understand the hidden hazards, including uneven surfaces, currents and undertow.

    Children should learn to swim when they’re developmentally able. Weak swimmers and those who can’t swim should always wear life jackets when in or around water.

    Find more tips and tidbits from our Safe Kids team.


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