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Summer Vacation Travel Safety Tips with Kids in Mind

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July 5, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Before you rush out the door on that family vacation, take some time to plan for the "what ifs?". Dr. Kenneth Wible with Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics advises putting together a travel first-aid kit stocked with adhesive strips, pain reliever and ointments for cuts and insect bites. He also suggests making a list of emergency contacts, including a nurse-line phone number for medical advice.

If you're traveling to visit family, they can be a resource for medical-provider recommendations, he notes.

"The tendency is to go to the first medical facility you happen to spot or come to, but it may not always be the ideal one, so it's good to plan ahead. For children, if there's a children's hospital in the community that's usually the best place to start."

Safety experts advise bringing along recent photos and profiles of your children, in case one goes missing.

Wible, who directs the hospital's pediatric care clinic, says when it comes to car travel, parents should plan ahead with road games, movies and regular stops to burn off some energy. These tips are not only important for the kids but for adults, he adds.

"The driver gets fatigued on these trips sometimes, too. The combination of fatigue and distraction can make for a dangerous situation."

Children should be in the proper car restraint for their age, height and weight, he says, and they never should be allowed to unbuckle while the vehicle is in motion - not even for second, to grab another game from the back.


Heather Claybrook, Public News Service - MO