Traveling with kids can be a lot of fun, but there can be a few worrisome moments from the time that you leave until the time that you return home again. One of those moments will most likely be when you enter your hotel room, because this space is different than what you are used to. And it most likely holds a few things that can be dangerous to your little ones.
Here are 15 ways to keep your kids safe in a hotel:
1. Make Sure You Are Staying in a Hotel
There are a few accommodations out there that seem similar to hotels, but in reality, they are motels. While there is nothing wrong with motels, they are often not ideal for traveling with children. The reason for this is that motels do not always spend the money for modern conveniences and updates. Hotels also normally often require stricter safety codes than motels, which means that there is a less likely chance that your child will be injured during your stay.
2. Check Out the Rooms Online
Since we now live in the world of the internet, it is easier than ever to look at the room you are reserving prior to you making the reservation. This is a great way to determine if the room will fit your needs and what you may need to bring with you to keep your children safe. However, it is important to note that most pictures of rooms are old. Therefore, it is possible that those pictures were taken ten or twenty years ago and what you see might not be what you get.
3. Ask About Babyproofing
Some of the fancier hotels will willingly babyproof a room if you request to have it done prior to your arrival. If you do not have that option, it is usually a good idea to carry a few babyproofing items with you. I recommend covering outlets, padding sharp corners, and taping drawers and cabinets closed. Painter’s tape is an excellent option for most of those tasks and it does not leave a residue like duct tape usually does.
4. Check the Floors
As you are going around babyproofing your hotel room, I recommend checking the floor out thoroughly. There are a ton of things that can be lying around that housekeeping misses, especially in the corners, under the windows, and under the beds. Pick up anything that your child can pick up and put in their mouth or start playing with. This may also make you notice other items that need to be babyproofed.
5. Place Items Out of Reach
After babyproofing and checking the floor, you may have an issue with some of the items that are in your room. Items like long window treatment cords, tall lamps, long electric cords, table décor, and glasses are just waiting for children to play with them or break. These items can cause a ton of different injuries and it is best if they are out of the reach of your little one’s hands. You may have already taken care of those long cords while you were babyproofing, but if you didn’t this is the time to do so. Afterwards, you can move all those breakable items to a higher spot or ask the front desk to hold onto them until your departure.
6. Ask for Baby Gear
It is not always practical to lug all your baby gear with you when you are staying on vacation, but now is not the time to let little babies sleep in bed with you. I recommend calling the hotel and asking if they have any baby gear that you can use. Most will have cribs for children to use, but not many will have baby bathtubs or highchairs. If the hotel you are staying at does not have what you need, you may need to find another place to get it from for your stay. I recommend starting this process well in advance of your stay, as most hotels have limited resources and tend to run out quickly during the busy seasons. Plus, if you do need to look elsewhere, you will need time to find who to call. I also urge you to check out these items when you arrive at the hotel, because some keep items longer than they should and they might not be your safest option.
7. Lock All Doors
All hotel room doors have locks that are up higher than the traditional ones and you will want to make sure that those are engaged so that your child cannot get out. It is important to lock all the doors when you are inside, because you never know when your child will be inquisitive enough to want to wander out.
8. Give Your Child Identification
While you will never think that your child can get out of your room, it happens more often than you think. I recommend placing a wristband on them that lists all the pertinent information that a person would need to get them back to you. It is also a good idea to show your child what a hotel staff member looks like, so that they know who to approach if they do get out of the room or get lost.
9. Use the Buddy System
If you have older children, you may feel weird making them stay with you all the time, especially if they want to make a run to the ice machine or vending machine. This is the perfect time to make them use the buddy system to run those little errands that they love doing. Explain that they need to walk to where they are going and that they need to stay together at all times. You may even want to take walkie talkies with you on your trip, so that they can carry one with them when they are out of the room.
10. Check the Water Temperature
Every child is going to need either a bath or a shower during your stay, but I recommend checking the water temperature first. Some hotels have really hot water and your child can get burned easily if you are not careful. A bath thermometer is a handy item to have, so that you know that the water doesn’t get over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. However, as a parent, you probably know what too hot water feels like. You can obviously adjust the water as you are giving a bath, but I recommend getting it adjusted prior to an older child entering the shower on their own.
11. Tell Children to Never Open the Door When Someone Knocks
Kids love to open and close the door, so the first thing that they are going to do when they hear a knock is open that hotel room door. While this usually will not be an issue, it could be, depending on who is doing the knocking. It is important to not scare your children with all the different scenarios. However, a basic chat on how children should never open a door without knowing who it is will be necessary. Of course, this won’t be a problem if you keep the doors locked so your kids can’t get them open.
12. Consider Your Floor Carefully
Floors that are higher up in a hotel are safer from criminals, but I recommend sticking to floors that are level six or under. The reason for this is that if there is a fire, the ladders of fire trucks cannot reach higher than that. You should try to get a room on either the fifth or sixth floor, as it will keep you safe for both scenarios. You should also go over a plan with what you plan to do if there is a fire, especially if you have older children.
13. Keep Children Off the Balcony
Unless the balcony off your room is completely childproof, I recommend keeping your children off it. There are just too many variables of what could happen that it is not always worth the risk.
14. Check the Phone in the Room
You may not plan on ever using the phone in your room, but if there is an emergency you will be happy that you made sure that it worked. This phone may be your lifeline in the middle of the night if you have a medical emergency and need the services of 911. While you can use your cell phone, the hotel probably has a system in place to get emergency personnel to you much faster.
15. Discuss Pool Safety
No child should be near the pool without you right there with them, but as a precaution you should go over some pool safety tips with them. This will be helpful if you have children walking around the hotel and happen to find themselves by the pool, because they will know what they can and cannot do.
These are fifteen of the ways that you can keep your kids safe in a hotel, which means that you will sleep easier when you are on vacation. Of course, it also means that you may be able to relax a little every time that you are inside your hotel room.