When it comes to keeping your children safe on holiday, you don't want to be a helicopter parent - but sometimes it's good to speak to other parents and pick up some tips.
We've spoken to some fabulous parenting bloggers about their experiences; here are some of their ways to keep everyone safe on holiday, and put your minds at rest, so you can focus on having fun as a family.
Jo at Slummy Single Mummy:
- Teach (or write down for younger kids) a few basic phrases in the language of the country you're in. Should they get lost, it's helpful for your kids to be able to tell people what's happened, to let them know their name and how to contact you.
- If you're somewhere for the day, agree a place that you will meet should you get separated - somewhere obvious that's visible from far away, like a tower. This will prevent you all wandering around in circles looking for each other.
- Always carry suntan lotion. Try a small bottle carried around your child's neck, so that you remember to reapply regularly.
Emma Garratt at The Mini Mes and Me:
- Infobands are really useful when travelling, as your child can have a telephone number on them which makes reuniting them with mum and dad a lot easier if they become lost. With older children, arrange a meeting point like a statue or tall building which can be seen from a distance and is quick to get to.
- You could always take a photo each morning to remember what outfits your kids are wearing.
Merry from Patch of Puddles:
- My tip is to try and spot the most likely problem that might occur on any day out, such as letting lost or being separated on the train or Tube and having a really clear plan. We have a 'stand still if you are lost' rule, and if anyone comes to help our kids, they say very clearly that they only want to stand with them, and they won't go anywhere.
- We've also instilled a rule about being left on a train; if this happens, get off at the next station and stay on the platform till we arrive.
Claire Walsh from Being a Mummy
- I tend to write my mobile number on a piece of paper and pop it into my kids’ shoe so they always have it with them. I also always point out a safe spot when we go out, and tell them that I will meet them back there if they get lost.
- If you're abroad, its important to show your kids what the local police officers look like in terms of their uniform so they know who to ask if they get lost.
Sarah Beeston: Author, health visitor and baby expert
- Breastfeeding babies or giving your child something to suck will help equalise the pressure in their ears. Most airlines will fast-track families with small children to get them on and off the plane easily.
- As soon as you get to your hotel room, look around for any safety hazards, like trailing flexes and loose catches on balcony doors and windows. Ensure there is a safe cot for your baby's use and take extra clean blankets with you. If the room is unsuitable or the cot isn’t clean and safe, say so immediately and get them changed.
- Happy children need to be well hydrated. When abroad, check the safety of tap water and if it is safe to drink. If in doubt, use bottled water. Be aware that not all bottled water is suitable for babies as the salt content may be too high. Use non-carbonated water containing less than 20mgs of sodium per litre. Do not use softened water.
- Never leave your child unattended, even for a few minutes. Enjoy room service or a local take away, or bring along the grandparents for a spot of babysitting.
- Hotels with gated swimming pools and alarms add additional reassurance. Children can easily slip out of unlocked patio doors and toddle off during the night, so always do a check before bedtime that the doors are secure before you go to sleep.
- Don’t expose your baby to the full glare of the sun, especially from 11am - 4pm. The early morning and late afternoon is a safer and quieter times to go to the beach. Use light clothing, a hat and apply high factor sunscreen. Small babies should not be in direct strong sun for longer than 20 minutes, and ensure they are always covered up.
Sarah's latest book, The New Arrival, is out now.
Happy Baby, Happy Family is out on June 4. Pre-order your copy here