Parents Are More Likely to Slack on Baby Safety When They Travel

According to new research, parents are inclined to slack off on safety while they're traveling—are you guilty of that this holiday season?

Ensuring Baby Travel Safety Shutterstock
It's only natural that you ease up on some of your parenting rules when you travel around the holiday season—maybe you let your little one stay awake past his bedtime, or maybe you allow her to eat Christmas cookies for breakfast just once. But while it's fine to bend the rules a little bit for special occasions, you should always do your best to uphold practices that keep your child safe.

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for parents to slack off on safety measures while they're on vacation, at least if recent research is any indication. The report comes from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and finds that parents tend to overlook things like car seat use and proximity to medications, cleaning supplies and weapons while in unfamiliar lodging.

Researchers polled the parents of children aged two to five to come to this conclusion, questioning parents about their habits while traveling. A whopping 15 percent admitted that don't always put their children in car seats when traveling—especially when riding in cabs or Uber/Lyft cars. About three-quarters of parents surveyed said they properly stored medications when traveling with their toddlers, and two-thirds remember to check for improperly stored cleaning products or weapons. 

"Parents are typically vigilant about safety measures, making sure toddlers are always in car seats and that medications and cleaning supplies are locked up or out of reach. But they may be less fastidious while on vacation, leaving medications in open suitcases or on hotel tables or not childproofing a relative's house," the poll's co-director Sarah Clark, M.P.H.says, according to Science Daily. "It's important that parents are just as attentive to child safety risks on trips as they would be at home."

The researchers suggest renting or packing a car seat while on vacation, asking friends or relatives you might be staying with to stash medications and weapons safely, and thoroughly scanning the space where you are staying while on vacation to identify anything that might pose harm to your little ones.