How to travel with children

Keeping young ones safe and happy on the road

When traveling by car, insist that everyone buckle up. An infant or a child under 40 pounds or 4 years old should ride Ma federally-approved sa fety sea t strapped securely to the car seat. Don’t carry a child on your lap or strap him with your seat belt. Make frequent rest stops in places where a child can run around and expend energy under your supervision.

Bring along a supply of drinking water and nutritious snacks; baby foods, disposable diapers. and a potty chair, if needed; toys and games: blankets and pillows; disposable moist towelettes; and paper or plastic bagsand changes of clothing in case of motion sickness or other mishaps.

To avoid motion sickness, keep the car well ventilated, stop often, and provide light, nongreasy snacks. If a child is prone to motion sickness, ask your doctor about medication.

Babies under 6 months old are usually lulled to sleep by noise and motion. Arousing older babies and toddlers can be a challenge. In addition to familiar toys. pack some surprises and pass them out during the trip. Organize sing-alongs and guessing games; older children may like word games. An older child can help read maps or look after younger children.

Traveling by air

Look for an airline that prcboards passengers with children and which offers children’s meals and infant beds. Book early and request seats with extra leg room. Pack a flight bag with snacks, moist towelettes, toys, and a change of clothing. To relieve ear pain during takeoffs and landings. have a child swallow, yawn, or chew gum; nurse an infant or let him suck a bottle or a pacifier. Give children plenty to drink during the flight.

Childproof a hotel or motel room by removing safety hazards. Put tape over the lock of a bathroom door.

Limit sightseeing with children to 2 or 3 hours. Plan excursions to a zoo, amusement park, and similar places.