The lowdown on keeping little ones safe on a day out
Thinking about a day out with little ones in tow? These tips will help keep them safe
We’ve all had that split second panic where you look round and can’t see your toddler anywhere, they normally appear seconds later but that sinking, sick feeling is nothing short of awful!
So here’s our simple guide to keep better tabs on a lively toddler that will hopefully avoid you ever having to feel that paralysing fear again.
Adventure playgrounds and funfairs are great fun but full of people and too easy for little ones to wander out of sight.
It’s worth insisting on holding hands, although it’s rarely popular with toddlers. If you're really struggling, let your toddler sit on your shoulders for a while or use a wrist rein.
You can now use GPS trackers for children, that can help you locate children that may have wandered.
You can also get write-on wrist bands, where you write your mobile number in case they get separated from you. Doesn’t matter how young, if they’re able to wander away it’s worth teaching them that if they get lost, they should go to another mum for help, or someone in a uniform.
In parks or play centres
Dressing little ones in bright or stripy clothes helps to spot them quickly.
In big places set rules about how far your children can go – such as the next tree or within the ball pit only.
Keeping them close at the zoo
When at the zoo or farm, always 'wash your hands' frequently. Bacteria is ripe around animals, traces of which may be on the sheep's wool or on the gates and straw. Handwashing is important to keep all germs at bay.
Remind little ones not to put their hands in their mouths until they have thoroughly washed their hands. There will be places to wash your hands dotted around the farm, with anti-bacterial hand wash. Make sure you visit these regularly, and before you eat.
You need to be extra careful if you are pregnant and handwashing is just as important and are advised to avoid pregnant sheep and baby lambs during the lambing season to protect yourself from toxoplasmosis.
Fun by the water
Little ones must always be supervised near water – even paddling pools, ponds, lakes as well as beaches.
If there’s a few of you, decide who is supervising who and look for holiday venues where pools are gated. On the beach choose lifeguarded areas and ensure that you keep between the flags.
Safety when in the cold and sunshine
Always check the weather forecasts to be sure you are prepared. In cold weather, dress your child in multiple layers so you can peel them off if it gets too hot. In changeable weather, you'll need to consider whether you should be carrying a light waterproof, a small tube of suncream and a hat for all possibilities.
In charge of other’s children
It’s natural to be more vigilant than ever when in charge of other people’s children so be very clear with them where they can go and where they can’t.
Be more strict than usual if you need to be. Do a regular head count and try to memorise what each child is wearing.