This is the time of year when travel increases dramatically. Taking trips to see family and friends are perfect during the holidays as parents and children have time off of work and school to simply enjoy December. But as you travel you need to make sure your children are as safe as possible.
Car Travel: No matter where you are traveling your young children will need a car seat. In fact, most countries in the western hemisphere require car seats to transport children. So, whether you are going across town to visit your in-laws or taking advantage of time off to visit a brand-new country you will need to carry car seats with you.
If you are renting a car in another country make sure to ask how to set up your child’s seat safely. In fact, research shows that up to 60 percent of child safety seats are improperly installed. If they can be moved more than an inch it has not been hooked in properly.
Online resources such as onlinecarparts.co.uk list popular car seat brands that you might even want to buy when you arrive for foreign travel as opposed to taking your kids’ seats on the plane or checking them in. They are relatively inexpensive and are essential for any car travel even in taxis or rideshares.
Plane Travel: While car seats are not required on a plane the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Federal Aviation Administration strongly recommend that your be seated in a child restraint device. You just have to make sure that the car seat you are using is FAA-approved. If you have purchased a separate seat for your child, you are well within your rights to strap them in mostly for peace of mind, but also due to safety reasons. If adults need to seat belts, children do, too.
Train and Subway Travel: Large mass transit trains do not have seat belts so it is impossible to hook in a car seat. Children can either sit in their own seat or on an adult’s lap.
Bus Travel: While trains do not have seat belts, buses do. You can bring car seats and buckle them into the lap belt or onto the shoulder harness. Buses like Greyhound do not charge extra for car seats. Children under the age of two rides for free and can either sit on an adult’s lap or be in their car seat.
No matter how you travel this holiday season make sure to keep safety in mind. Do your research about the type of car seat you have and if you need the expertise to install it correctly into your car you can always go by your car’s dealer and they will install it for you.