From malls to shopping centers to popular restaurants, no venue can really match the hustle and bustle inherent to the airport. Luggage, long security lines, and the straggling traveler trying to catch his flight leaving in a few minutes are all common sights at the airport. For adults, all that craziness borders on annoyance, but for kids, being at the airport can be distressing.
Traveling with a child puts that extra bit of responsibility on your shoulders, so here are some safety tips to keep in mind when you’re traveling with your kids.
•Plan ahead. As you’re packing and preparing for the trip, ask yourself what you and your kids will need before, during, and after the flight. This includes any motion sickness medicine, snacks, tissues, a blanket, and books or other items to help pass the time.
•Pack any essential items in your carry-on luggage. You don’t want to experience a mid-air emergency and realize that the diapers were stuffed into your checked bag. Having everything in your carry-on also helps if the airline accidentally loses your checked luggage. Check with the airlines to see what kinds of bottles and containers are permitted.
•Keep an eye on your children at all times. It sounds simple enough, but when you’re in a busy, hectic airport, it’s easy to lose track of people in your party. Hold your child’s hand through the airport and do not let him roam or wander.
•Pack an identification card. This can be strapped to his backpack. Keep a recent picture of your child on yourself. Both will come in handy if he does get separated from the rest of the group.
•Explain security line procedures to your kids. Going through airport security is a big pain for many air travelers, but it can be entirely frightening for kids. Help them with their shoes and other items. Reassure them that their backpacks, toys, and stuffed animals will pass through the X-ray machine unharmed.
•Inform flight attendants of any special needs your children might have. Flight attendants are quite hospitable. They want to make the flight as comfortable as possible for you and your family. They’ll show a little extra care and ask if you and your kids are doing well throughout the flight.
•For younger children, use a restraint system. The Federal Aviation Administration recommends that kids be placed in a secure restraint system or other device for the duration of the flight, not mommy’s lap. Your arms aren’t enough to hold your child securely, especially through turbulence. Besides, the flight will be much more comfortable for you without having to hold a toddler for hours.
•Seat your child away from the aisle. Kids like to explore and touch things. If they’re on the aisle, there’s more chance of them getting bumped by service carts and people passing through. Ideally, you should have an adult sitting on either side of the child.
•Keep your kids belted at all times. Turbulence happens frequently and unexpectedly. Keep the belt on at all times to maintain safety.
•Monitor your kids during the flight. An unsupervised child can wander the aisles or find themselves in more dangerous areas of the plane. When walking around the plane with your child, make sure he keeps his hands to himself.
•Bring toys and other entertainment. Kids get restless pretty quickly; even adults get pretty restless on long plane rides. Bring along safe toys that aren’t sharp, heavy, or fragile. For any electronic games, make sure your kids don’t use them until after takeoff, during the cruise portion of the flight. Electronics devices can interfere with the plane’s navigation systems.
•Have a pacifier, snacks, or drinks ready. To reduce ear pain, have something that your kids can suck or munch on. The act of swallowing helps keep the Eustachian tubes open while normalizing the air pressure in the ears.
With these tips, you and your kids are sure to have a safe, enjoyable journey to your next vacation destination. Don't forget to reserve your LAX parking online with Airport Parking Connection and save time, money, and the hassle!