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National Child Safety Expert, Alison Rhodes, “The Safety Mom,” is one of the country's leading child safety authorities, providing tips and advice to parents on a broad range of issues facing all children - newborns to teens.

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Five Tips For Safe Holiday Travel
by Alison Rhodes

Before you hit the road this holiday season take a few minutes to make sure that it will be the safest ride possible for your kids. And, once you arrive, be prepared for emergencies. Read on for a few tips on helping make travel a little safer for your family:

  • Be Sure The Seat Fits
    Car crashes remain the number one killer of kids 3 - 14 years of age. It's important to be sure that your child is in an age-appropriate car seat and positioned correctly. Unfortunately, many accidents occur because booster seats are not secured sufficiently due to slack in the seat belt. This is actually one of the leading contributors to the high rate of death and injury to children in car accidents. SeatSnug (www.seatsnug.com) is a device that easily attaches to an existing seatbelt to prohibit the seatbelt slack from developing and makes sure the child's seat is properly and safely secured in place during travel. Additionally, place a neon sticker on the side of your child's car seat with important information such as name, emergency contact number and known allergies. If you are rendered unconscious in a crash emergency workers will have important information about your child.

  • Get Ready For Take-Off
    Getting there can either be half the fun or the entire nightmare! If you're flying to your destination, plan ahead. If you're child is old enough, pack a small back pack that she can wear with some essentials for the trip - crayons, books, snacks and a change of clothes. When possible have everyone wear slip-on shoes as this is easier when going through security. The safest place for a child in a plane is in an approved child restraint system - not on your lap! This is a hard-backed child safety seat that is approved by the government for use in motor vehicles or aircrafts. There are also child safety belts that are FAA approved for use in aircrafts. Visit www.kidsflysafe.com to purchase one.

  • Plan Ahead
    Call ahead to your destination and find the name of a local pediatrician as well as pharmacy. Ask your pediatrician to write you an extra prescription in case your child's medication spills or is misplaced. Create a first aid kit to bring with you that includes several sizes of bandages, a thermometer, an antibacterial cream such as Neosporin or Bacitracin, infant or children's Tylenol or Motrin, a tweezer to remove bee stings or ticks, and an antihistamine such as children's Benadryl. You can also purchase a pre-packed travel first aid kit such as the Medibag 4 Kids (www.me4kidz.com)

  • Label Your Kids
    It's important to have your kids memorize not only your home phone number but also your cell phone number. Unfortunately, for young kids this just might not be possible. When travelling, be sure to create a tag listing your cell phone number and the name of the hotel where you are staying. If you're child has any medical conditions this should be listed as well. You can tape a piece of paper to the inside of his shoe or purchase some great wrist ID bands such as Vital IDs from Belly Charms (www.vitalids.com)

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