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Travelling with your baby for the first time can be a very anxious time for new parents.  

We have provided these tips for choosing and using some of the equipment you may wish to bring with you or use when travelling with babies as part of a

 

Safety Note:  While buying second hand equipment can be a great way to save money, second hand equipment presents an added risk to young children.  Use extra caution when purchasing second hand equipment to ensure that the equipment is still in good condition, not subject to recall notices and inspect it regularly for wear and tear.

CLICK ON THE SPECIFIC TIPS OR SCROLL THE PAGE TO VIEW ALL TIPS FOR SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT

 

 STROLLERS

Strollers & Carriages are a must for travelling with infants.     A danger exists when sleeping children are left unsupervised and when the awake they may move around and when their bodies passed through the opening between the handrest (grab bar) and front edge of the seat, they became trapped by the head and strangled. 

Use these tips when buying and using a stroller:

  • Choose a stroller that has a handrest (grab bar) at the front of the seat

  • Make sure the opening between grab bar and seat can be closed when it is used in the reclined carriage position

  • If a stroller has a basket it should be low on the back of the stroller and in front of (or directly over) the rear wheels

  • Avoid hanging pocketbooks or shopping bags over handles as this may cause tipping

  • Check the seat belt to make sure it is strong and durable, fits snugly around your child, and can be easily fastened and unfastened. 

  • Use the seat belt each time you place the baby in the stroller and check it periodically for wear - replace if necessary.

  • Make sure that the brake is convenient to operate and actually locks the wheels.

  • Brakes on two wheels provide an extra measure of safety. 

  • When folding or unfolding a stroller, keep your child away from it. Children's fingers have been amputated in parts of the folding mechanism

  • Check recall notices periodically and follow recall instructions if your stroller has been recalled.

  • Never leave a child unattended in a stroller, especially when the baby is asleep. 

  • A stroller is not a toy. Never allow children to use one as a plaything. 

  • Never use a pillow, folded quilt, or blanket as a mattress in a stroller or carriage.

    Use a rain cover, sun cover or bug cover when needed. 

    Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

     

HIGH CHAIRS, BOOSTER SEATS AND HOOK-ON CHAIRS

 

While you may not be taking a High Chair or Hook-on Chair along with you on vacation, you may be using one in a restaurant, in your hotel room or when visiting friends and relatives as well as using it at home.  Many hotels now offer High Chairs as part of guest services or rental agencies are available for travelling families.    See Tips for Eating Out and Dining with Children for ways to making eating out fun for the whole family.  Here are some tips for buying, renting and using a high chair or hook-on chair:

  • Always use safety straps when a child is sitting in the High Chair or Hook-on Chair.  The majority of the injuries result from falls when restraining straps are not used and when children are not closely supervised.

  • Know what to do if your baby is choking - see First Aid Tips for when a Baby is Choking.

  • Always supervise a child when using a High Chair or Hook-on Chair.  Don't leave infants sleeping in a High Chair unattended.   The majority of deaths occurred when children slipped down under the tray and strangled.

  • When using a High Chair or Hook-on Chair in a restaurant or dining room make sure that there are no sharp objects, candles or glass items that the child can reach.

  • High chairs should have a waist strap and a strap that runs between the legs. While in the high chair, children should ALWAYS be restrained by both straps. 

  • Tray should not be used as a restraining device in place of safety straps. 

  • Keep High Chairs and Hook-on Chairs away from tables, benches and walls.  High Chairs may tip if an active child pushes off from a table or wall, stands up in the high chair, or rocks it back and forth. 

  • Never let children stand in a High Chair.  

  • If You Are Buying a New High Chair select one that has a wide base for stability.

  • Examine the restraining straps before using any chair to ensure that the waist belt has a buckle that cannot be fastened unless the crotch strap is also used. 

  • Look for easy to use straps.  If the straps are difficult to fasten, you might not use them. 

  • Consider a high chair that has a post between the child's legs to prevent the child from slipping down and becoming trapped under the tray. 

  • Make sure safety straps are securely attached and work properly. 

  • The crotch strap and belt around the waist should be fastened as soon as a child is placed in the chair and unfastened only when the child is removed. Remember, the feeding tray is not a restraint. 

  • Be sure that the locking device on a folding high chair is locked each time you set up the chair. 

  • Never leave a child unattended in a High Chair or Hook-on Chair.  Try to stay within arm's length. 

  • Don't let children play around a high chair or climb into it unassisted.

  • Don't let older children hang on to a high chair while a baby is in it. The high chair could tip over.

  • Hook-on chairs are used as substitutes for high chairs and are attached to the edge of a table. Children can be injured either by falling out of these chairs or dislodging the chair from the table. 

  • Avoid placing the chair where the child's feet can reach or push off with their feet an object that is solid.  This can dislodge the chair from the table.

  • Use the safety straps at all times when the child is in the chair.  

  • Check that the chair is securely fastened to the table prior to placing the child in the chair by pulling backwards on the chair.

  • Never leave a child unattended in a Hook-on chair.

  • Never use hook-on chairs on glass top, single pedestal or unstable tables.

  • When using booster seats on chairs strap booster to chair if a safety strap is available.

  • Supervise children when using a booster seat.

  • Never set car seats on tables.  Ask the restaurant if they have an Infant Seat Carrier that holds a car seat securely.  See Infant Car Seat Carrier for Restaurants and Dining Rooms.

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INFANT CAR SEATS

 

See the following links for Car Seat Safety Information and More:

 

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INFANT CARRIER SEATS (Not Car Seats)

 

Carrier Seats are seats designed to be used as a means of holding infants in a seated position but are not to be confused or used as car seats.  Quite often these seats come as part of an infant swing.  These tips will help when purchasing and using these types of Infant Carriers:

 

  •  The carrier should have a wide, sturdy base for stability.

  • Ensure that the carrier seat has a safety belt and always use the safety belt when the infant is in the chair.

  • Never leave an infant unattended in a carrier seat, especially when sleeping.

  • Avoid placing carrier seats on tables, sofas, beds or countertops.  Most injuries associated with carrier seats result from falls: infants falling out of carrier seats, or the carrier seat falling with the infant still sitting in it.   Suffocation can occur if the seat flips over on soft sofas or bedding.

  • Be careful when using a carrier in a restaurant that the child will not be stepped on.

  • Stay within arm's reach of the baby when the carrier seat is on tables, counters, or other furniture. 

  • Never turn your back. Carrier seats slide more easily on slippery surfaces such as glass table tops. 

  • If the carrier seat does not already have non-skid feet, attach rough surfaced adhesive strips to the underside

  • If the carrier seat contains wire supporting devices which snap on the back, check for security. These can pop out causing the carrier seat to collapse.

  • REMEMBER-A carrier seat is not always an infant car seat, and should never be used in an automobile unless it is labeled for that purpose.

Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

 

 

PLAYPENS AND PORTABLE CRIBS

 

Whether you are taking a portable crib/playyard with you or using/renting one at your travel destination, there are a number of safety and other concerns to keep in mind when using these portable sleeping arrangements for infants.

 

See the following Links for Playpen and Portable Crib Safety including providing infants with a safe sleeping environment:

 

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 FRONT AND BACK CARRIERS

 

Front and back Infant Carriers are very popular with parents travelling with an infant.  They make it easier to go shopping, hiking or walking in crowded places.   Here are some tips to consider when purchasing and using these types of infant carriers:

  • Framed back carriers should not be used with infants under five months of age.  Young babies do not have strong enough necks to withstand the jolts and require closer supervision than these carriers allow.

  • If You Are Buying a new Carrier check that the weight and size requirements match the baby including enough depth to support the baby's back, that leg openings are small enough to prevent the baby from slipping out and that leg openings are big enough to avoid chafing the baby's legs. 

  • Carriers should be made of sturdy material with strong stitching or large, heavy duty fasteners to prevent the baby from slipping out.

  • Consider carrying a mirror when using a back carrier so you can peak at baby periodically.

  • Metal frame back carriers should have padded covering over the metal frame near the baby's face to protect the baby from bumps.

  • Be careful bending over when using a front carrier and secure baby with hands so that baby doesn't fall out.  Severe head injury can occur.

  • Never let a child stand up in a back carrier and use safety restraining straps at all times.

  • Never leave an infant in a back carrier while it is not on a person's back.  The carrier may tip over and injure the child.

  • Never leave a sleeping infant in a front carrier when it is not on a person.  The padding and material may cause suffocation.

  • When using folding metal back carriers be sure the child's fingers are clear of the frame joints when folding the carrier and that the locks are in place when using carrier.

  • Check frames for sharp points, edges or rough surfaces, ripped seams, missing or loose fasteners, frayed seats, or straps. Repair them promptly or discard the carrier. 

  • When using a back carrier bend from the knees rather than the waist to prevent the baby from falling out of the back carrier or injuring your back.

  • Be careful when entering buildings, doors and other areas that the baby doesn't hit walls, door frames.

  • Practice Road Safety when walking with a Carrier.  See Walking Safety Tips and Road Safety Rules for Walking with Children

Click here to return to list Click here to return to specific tips list

 

BABY GATES

 

Parents of babies and crawling toddlers may consider using baby gates in multi-level vacation units or when visiting as a way of keeping a baby in a confined area or away from stairs.  Baby gates can present a danger of entrapment or strangulation if they are accordion style with V-shaped openings along the top edge and diamond shaped openings between the slats.  Children's heads can become entrapped when they attempt to crawl over or through these types of baby gates.   While standards are in place to prohibit the sale of these gates, gate made prior to 1985 when the standards were introduced may still be around or be purchased second hand.  Here are some tips for purchasing and using baby gates: 

  • DO NOT USE ACCORDION-STYLE BABY GATES AND EXPANDABLE ENCLOSURES with V-shaped or diamond-shaped openings.

  • Use a gate with a straight top edge and rigid bars or mesh screen, or an accordion-style gate with small V-shapes and diamond-shaped openings. Entrances to V-shapes should be no more than 1-1/2 inches (38 mm) in width to prevent head entrapment. 

  • Ensure the baby gate is solidly secured in the doorway or stairway it is blocking. Children have pushed gates over and fallen down stairs. 

  • Install gates that have an expanding pressure bar with the bar side away from where the child will be kept.  Children may be able to use the pressure bar to climb over the gate.  

  • Never use a pressure gate at the top of the stairs just in case it is not maintaining adequate pressure and can be pushed over resulting in children falling down stairs.

  • Expandable Enclosures Circular wooden enclosures that expand, accordion-style, can present the same entrapment/strangulation hazards as the accordion-style gates. 

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BABY WALKERS

 

It is estimated that more children are injured in walkers than in any other piece of baby equipment and that most of those injured are under 15 months of age.  Even under close supervision, injuries have been known to occur.   Most injuries occur when children fall down stairs, falls in pool or the walker tips over.    Burns are also a common injury - children are burned when the walker nears hot surfaces such as stoves, radiators, heaters and fireplaces.    In keeping with our commitment to promote safety for children we recommend that parents never use a baby walker, but instead consider a stationary activity center together with close parental supervision, ensuring that the child has safe toys to play with, is located away from sharp objects and any electrical or heat sources.  For this reason we have not included tips on the use and purchase of this product. 

 

If you currently have a baby walker, please dispose of it properly.  See Proper Disposal tips.

 

 

 Tips for the use of this product can however be found on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Web site at www.cpsc.com.

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PROPER DISPOSAL OF USED BABY EQUIPMENT

The following information is provided by Safe Kids Canada as part of the 2003 Safe Kids Week Campaign - see Safe Kids Canada and Sponsor Johnson & Johnson Join Forces to Promote Public Awareness of Safe Kids Week - June 2 to 8, 2003  and Health Canada announces Ban on the Sale, Importation and advertisement of Baby Walkers - Canada is the First Country to Ban this unsafe product for more information.

Many unsafe children’s products including those that don’t meet regulations or have been recalled are still being used, passed down through families, or sold second-hand.  Getting unsafe children’s products out of circulation is an effective way to reduce product-related injuries.    

You can also contact your municipal waste management and/or recycling companies to determine if they will be able/interested in picking up and disposing of products that you have found in your home.  Safe Kids Canada recommends disposing of baby walkers with wheels, baby bath seats, cribs made before 1986, recalled playpens, damaged car seats and bike helmets more than 5 years old, among other items.  When placing these items for collection by waste management or recycling, take steps to ensure that the product will not be picked up for use with another child:

Baby walkers: Destroy; or remove detachable toys, wheels, and seats of baby walkers to decrease the likelihood that others will retrieve the baby walker for resale, or for use with their own infants.   See Health Canada announces Ban on the Sale, Importation and advertisement of Baby Walkers - Canada is the First Country to Ban this unsafe product.

Baby bath seats: Remove the suction cups from the bath seat and safely destroy, or damage the plastic seat prior to collection to prevent the seat from being retrieved.

Cribs: Break the crib parts into non-usable pieces.  If possible, recycle plastic, wood, and metal pieces for recycling, and destroy the mattress to prevent retrieval and being misfit into another crib.

Playpens: Remove and safely destroy mesh netting, and if possible, dismantle the playpen by removing nuts and bolts before collection.

Baby gates: If possible, unhinge and dismantle accordion-style baby gates before placing for collection.  If it is not possible to dismantle the gate, tie up the gate and place in a dark garbage bag to discourage retrieval. 

Car seats: Car seats should not be reused if they have been involved in a crash, or if they are cracked or broken.  When disposing of an unsafe car seat, cut the harness straps in half, remove all covers and padding, and visibly damage the seat with a hammer so that the seat cannot be used again.  Recycling centres may accept plastic shells. 

Bicycle helmets: Remove the foam core, if possible, and cut the chin straps.  Hammer and visibly damage the plastic shell so no one else can use the helmet.

By safely disposing of children’s products you can help to reduce product-related injuries. 

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MORE SAFETY INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLING WITH BABIES

Click on the links for more Information for Travelling with Babies.

Air Travel Tips

Travel Tips - Children with Severe Allergies

Amusement Park Tips

Tips for Eating Out and Dining with Children

Car Travel Tips

Dangers of Balloons - Travel Safety News

Tips on Buying Toys for Children

Danger of Strangulation from Drawstrings on Children's Outerwear

 

Pool and Beach Safety Tips

 

Sun Safety Tips

All tips are offered as suggestions only.  While we have tried to provide you with a list of suggestions to help parents when travelling with children to keep them safe, unfortunately, we can’t think of everything and it is the responsibility of parents to ensure their children’s safety.

 

CPSC, Graco Children’s Products Announce New Safety Instructions to Prevent Injuries with Portable Play Yards with Raised Changing Tables

Safe Kids Canada and Sponsor Johnson & Johnson Join Forces to Promote Public Awareness of Safe Kids Week - June 2 to 8, 2003

Tips for Potty Training, Potty Training while Travelling and Common Potty Training Practices

Click on the following to Purchase Baby Travelling Products:

Safety Crib Sheets - Promotes the Safest Sleeping Environment for Infants

See the following sections for specific tips:

See the following sections for specific tips:

For General Travel Tips Click on 

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For Tips on Protecting Your Home Click Below:

Click here for Tips on Protecting Your Home from Burglary

For Tips on Enjoying Live Theatre with Children Click Below:

Click here for tips on Enjoying Live Theatre with Children

For Tips on Buying Toys Click Below:

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For Motion Sickness Tips Click on

click here for tips on motion sickness

For Tips for making the Most of Summer Fun Click Below:

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For Tips on Who and What to Tip Click Below:

Click here for Tips on When and What to Tip

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For Travel Tips - Children with Severe Allergies Click on

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For Tips on Eating out with Children Click Below:

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For Tips on Travelling with Grandchildren Click Below:

Tips on Travelling with Grandchildren

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