Summer sure seems to be hurrying by, but there's vacation ahead for many. For families who still have places to go and things to see, here are some ideas from Harbor Hospital Center in South Baltimore to make the trip safe and enjoyable -- for everyone.
* Be sure to pack tweezers, bandages, an antibiotic cream, syrup of Ipecac (use only after checking with a pediatrician or poison control center) and acetaminophen and a dropper or medicine spoon to measure doses.
* If you're traveling by car, keep children secured in a safety seat at all times and stop driving when you are tired.
* Choose motels that are accustomed to catering to young children -- usually in vacation areas rather than business districts -- and check each room for safety hazards, such as sharp edges on furniture and extremely hot water. Do not leave children unattended in a motel room.
* If you're traveling by airplane, check the policy on safety seats. If you have a ticket for your child, you'll be able to use your own car seat on the plane.
Take along children's favorite beverages, so you'll have plenty of liquids during flight and won't have to wait to be served. Drinking fluids can relieve pressure that may build up in children's ears during takeoff and landing. A pacifier will also relieve this pressure.
* If you're camping, an adult needs to closely supervise young children at all times. Keep children away from camp fires, poisonous plants and insects; don't allow them to wander into the woods alone.
Be sure everyone in a boat wears an approved life jacket and that there is one swimmer aboard for each non-swimmer.
Tips for car trips
Extended car trips often cause motion sickness in young children, especially if they sit low in the back seat and can't see out. The inner ear senses the motion, but the child's eyes and joints don't. Young children who can't describe motion sickness, and thus give fair warning, might show it by becoming pale and restless, yawning and crying.
Frequent stops help.
So can these tips from "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child," a publication of The American Academy of Pediatrics:
* Older children can sit in the front seat, buckled in as always.
* Give a light snack before the trip to relieve hunger pangs, which can worsen symptoms.
* Distract child with music, singing or conversation.
* Have child look at things outside the car.
* "New to Area." The Parenting Center at the Owings MillJewish Community Center is starting a special program for newcomers. Parents and children up to 5 years of age can meet other families and get acquainted with resources for families at monthly meetings. Free to JCC members only. For more information, phone Lynne Waranch at 356-5200.
* "Camp Step Ahead." Western Publishing Co., the folks who have brought the world Little Golden Books for 50 years, has a new line of workbooks for summertime learning. Available for children entering grades 1 to 4, the workbooks are designed to reinforce skills learned the previous school year and to introduce subjects to come. The workbooks sell for $3.49 in toy and discount stores.
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