Baby Safety: Outdoors

Traveling With Baby: Baby-Proofing Safety Tips

babyinplaneTraveling with young children can appear daunting and maybe even a bit scary.  However, it need not be either.  In just a few steps you can child proof your hotel room, vacation home or a grandparent's home to remove many hazards. Taking these precautions can lower the chance of an injury, help you feel more confident that you can protect your children away from home and make it a little easier for you to watch your children.



  1. Pack a Travel Safety kit to use on the road and in temporary housing. It should include:
    • Electrical outlet plugs (be sure to use the kind that requires two actions for removal).
    • Door knob covers to keep certain rooms and closets off-limits.
    • A toilet lid lock (you may need more than one).
    • Corner cushions (4-8) for table corners.
    • A few exterior cabinet/drawer latches.
    • A few finger guards or door slammers.
    • At least one portable pressure safety gate.
    • If your child sleeps in a crib, consider taking along a portable crib or call ahead and make sure that the hotel has cribs that meet current CPSC and ASTM safety standards.  Many hotels and motels have unsafe cribs.
      • Slats should be no more than 2-3/8" apart.
      • Check for missing parts or sharp edges.
      • Be sure crib is sturdy when set up and that the mattress fits snugly.
  2. When you arrive at your destination:
    • Check to see that there are no small objects that a previous guest may have left on the floor or under the bed.
    • Check to see that windows and doors close and lock securely and that the locks are out of your child's reach.
    • Move climbable furniture away from windows.
    • Make sure electrical cords are out of reach.
    • Make sure there are no drapery or window blind cords within your child's reach (including when in the crib).
    • Place toiletries, soaps and glasses out of reach in the bathroom.
    • Be very careful when bathing young children as the water temperature can change suddenly.
    • Attach exterior cabinet/drawer latches to prevent children from opening drawers and closing them on their fingers.
    • Place finger guards high up on door hinge side of door to prevent your child from closing a door on his/her fingers
  3. If You Are Staying At A Family Member's Or A Vacation Home:
    • Make sure there are no small objects on the floor.
    • Put purses, briefcases and tote bags out of reach.
    • Remove small objects, breakable knick-knacks, hard candies, nuts and loose coins within reach of children. If it fits inside a toilet paper roll, it is probably not safe for young children.
    • Move houseplants to a high shelf or windowsill.
    • Put away tables with sharp corners or attach adhesive-backed corner cushions.
    • Keep all plastic wrapping and plastic bags away from young children.
    • Put away ladders and step stools.
    • Post emergency numbers (police, fire, hospital, poison control) by the phone.
  4. In the Kitchen:
    • Put poisonous products in a locked cabinet or out of reach.
    • Put medicines and vitamins (often on the table at a grandparents' house) out of reach.
    • Push small appliances and butcher block knife sets to the back of the counters, and make sure there are no cords within reach.
    • Make sure silverware, china and glassware is stored out of reach.
    • Remove tablecloths.
    • Put away small refrigerator magnets that could pose a choking hazard.
  5. In the Bathroom
    • Remove personal care plug-in appliances (i.e. electric shavers, hair blowers) and store them out of sight.
    • Put poisons (medicine, aspirin, mouthwash, cosmetics, vitamins, room deodorizers) in a locked closet.
    • Attach the toilet lock.
    • Check the water temperature and be very careful when drawing your child's bath.
  6. In the Bedroom
    • Move climbable furniture away from windows.
    • Tie up loose cords from window blinds and put them out of reach of your child.
    • Learn if there is any furniture that is capable of tipping over i.e. a tall bookcase or floor lamp not secured to the wall. Keep children away from these items.
  7. Check for Other Hazards That You May Not Have at Home
    • Windows without window guards --- be sure any open window does not open more than 4 inches. (This reminder, warrants repeating again!)
    • Swimming pools, ponds, lakes require extra observance
    • Driveways mean moving cars
    • Unfenced areas and fences or decks can be climbed onto. Also, furniture that is near a railing or that can be easily moved close to a railing by a child.
    • Fireplaces
    • Wood burning stoves
    • Pets - If grandparents or others have a pet, remember that this pet may not be used to young children. Supervise carefully.

Remember, there is no substitute for supervision!

This article was initially published in Crib Notes in July 2009.

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