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Baby proof the hotel room for vacation safety

Getting ready to travel this summer? Make sure your stay in new places is a safe one - don't forget to baby proof your hotel room!
Your question:
We stayed in a high rise condo on the beach and I was scared sick when my two-year old almost climbed over the railing. Short of locking him in a closet, can you suggest a way to make our vacations safer?

Dr Moore answers:
Accidents are leading cause of death and disability in our children. No one is immune. Remember when Eric Clapton's son fell out a 50-story open window? Summer travel with accommodations in unfamiliar locations increases the likelihood of mishaps. You may have "childproofed" your home but most hotels and condos have not.

Fortunately, the majority of accidents are preventable. First, get there safely. When driving, use carseats and seatbelts for all occupants. Adequate toys and books for the ride will keep the children busy and make them less of a distraction to the driver.

When you arrive at your hotel, do a quick check of windows, balconies, railings and door locks. Balcony railing posts should be 4 inches or less apart, about the size of a clenched fist. Move all chairs and furniture away from railings and windows to prevent a child from climbing up to these danger areas. Bring a pack of plastic electric plug covers if you use them at home. Old cribs and children's furniture was not designed as safely as it is today so look for places where a child's head might become wedged. When at the pool, stay covered in the sun with shirts and hats. Use SPF 50 sunscreen and reapply every two hours. It's a hassle, but not so much as a sunburned infant. One hundred percent adult supervision is a must. One second of inattention could alter the course of your life, and that of your child.

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