5 NO ORDINARY ways to make traveling with an infant less stressful

Traveling can seem overwhelming, but traveling with a baby can seem impossible especially when you want to create the safest environment for your little one.

 (Photo Credit: Florida Department Children and Families and PreventNeedlessDeaths.com campaign )

In the Tampa Bay area, nearly 200 children have died from drowning, unsafe sleep and abusive head trauma in the last five years – causes that could have been prevented, and are also a concern while traveling.

Before you hit the road with your infant, consider these five tips to make traveling with your baby safer and less stressful:

  1. Have a crib or Pack ‘n Play prepared

Consider where you’ll be staying and make arrangements to have a crib in the room or bring a Pack ‘n Play. After you arrive, use a tight-fitting sheet to cover the crib mattress or Pack ‘n Play pad.

Infants should never be placed on an adult bed, couch or blow-up mattress, which can increase the chances of suffocation.

 (Photo Credit: Florida Department Children and Families and PreventNeedlessDeaths.com campaign )

  1. Make sure your family knows the safest way for your infant to sleep

Educate family members on the ABCs of safe sleep. The safest way for infants to sleep is Alone on their Backs in a Crib (or Pack ‘n Play). This provides the safest sleep environment for your infant since most babies are still developing neck muscle control and are at an increased risk of suffocation.

 (Photo Credit: Florida Department Children and Families and PreventNeedlessDeaths.com campaign )

  1. Help caregivers deal with stress in a healthy way

Relatives, family friends or babysitters might help watch your infant while you’re traveling. Crying is normal and babies do it often, but this can be stressful for caregivers. Shaking an infant – even once – can be fatal, and in most cases, the individual does not mean to harm the child but lacks the knowledge or skills to cope with a stressful situation.

Take a moment to talk with your child’s caretaker about how they deal with stress. Understand how your child’s caregiver would cope with stress and look for signs that they may not be prepared, such as if they are easily angered or seem inattentive.

  1. Keep drowning hazards out of reach

Bathtubs, dog bowls and containers that hold an inch or more of water can be dangerous to your child, because children can drown in as little as 20 seconds and often silently. Be aware of your child’s surroundings, remove any dangerous items and talk to your family and friends about keeping doors locked when visiting their house, especially doors that lead to a pool or water area.

 (Photo Credit: Florida Department Children and Families and PreventNeedlessDeaths.com campaign )

  1. Designate a “water watcher”

Lack of adult supervision in and around the water leads to drowning, which is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in children ages 1 to 4. Designate a “water watcher” who will keep their eyes on children at all times and avoid distractions like texting.

Be sure to share this information with family members, babysitters and other caregivers, and keep it in mind while traveling. For more information about how to prevent the top three causes of preventable child deaths in Tampa Bay, visit PreventNeedessDeaths.com.

(The review is written by the Florida Department Children and Families and PreventNeedlessDeaths.com campaign and shared on my blog for awareness.)

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