Keeping the Kids Safe on Holiday
SG World work with schools to keep kids safe during term time so we’ve put together a holiday checklist to keep them safe if you are jetting off with the family this Summer.
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
Top of the list is sun protection. We all want fun in the sun but sunburn is the greatest holiday danger for your kids. Research shows that most of the damage done to skin by the sun that can lead to skin cancer takes place in childhood - in fact, 80% of all skin damage takes place before the age of 21.
Very young skin is much more delicate and susceptible to damage. Babies under six months should not be in the sun at all and toddlers should wear a wide-brimmed hat that protects the delicate head and neck area.
Cancer Research UK recommends SPF15 as the best balance between effectiveness and price. A sunscreen with SPF15, used liberally and applied frequently, at least every two hours, is entirely adequate. UV protective clothing such as the “all-in-one suit” is a good, extremely practical way to protect little ones. However, bear in mind that as the fabric begins to lose its elasticity (highly likely if worn in chlorine-treated swimming pools) or starts to become in any way 'transparent', it has lost its effectiveness and should be replaced.
If you are staying in Europe make sure the whole family has their European Health Insurance cards. This will fast track the paperwork if you do have to take a trip to an A&E so you can focus on administering some TLC. Remember to apply for them a couple of months before you travel.
Do Your Research
It’s worth taking to the internet to do a bit of research on your destination before you leave, for example:
- Look for information on safe beaches, coastguards and strong currents.
- If one of the kids has an allergy or condition, work out how you can explain this in a foreign language just in case.
- If you are staying in a villa does the pool have a fence or barrier?
Remember to pack a basic first aid kit including lifesavers such as Calpol.
Lost and Found
There are a few simple measures to take in case you get separated on a busy beach or attraction.
- Make sure your children have your mobile contact details and hotel name on their phone and in their pockets.
- Agree a meeting place in advance to rendezvous in case you get separated.
- Consider using a child's ID wristband like they use on school trips. The wristband can also note any serious allergies or conditions that hotel staff might need to be aware of.
If the villa or hotel room is getting hot and stuffy take care with open windows and toddlers. Small children will often climb from beds and chairs onto windowsills so make sure there’s no furniture they can climb up on and no unsupervised access to balconies.
Kids love water, which is all part of the fun, but always supervise your children in the pool or at the beach. Never let them get out of their depth and make sure you have armbands if they’re not strong swimmers.
Also make sure your baby or toddler doesn’t get too cold – babies have a much bigger surface area to volume ratio than adults and lose heat more quickly.