With school summer holidays now well under way, travel and holidays are uppermost in many minds.
The safety of our children is our top priority and hotels and apartments abroad are not necessarily as safe as they would be in the UK.
We spoke to Wendy Shand from TotsToTravel and asked her for her travel safety tips.
With millions of us travelling abroad this summer, ensuring the safety of our children on holiday remains just as important as it does when we are at home.
Mum-of-three Wendy Shand is all too aware of potential holiday dangers. She started her multi award-winning business, family travel specialists Tots To Travel www.totstotravel.co.uk, seven years ago after her two-year-old son fell into an unenclosed swimming pool in France and had to be rescued by his grandfather.
Wendy said: “While holidays are all about spending quality time together as a family and creating special memories it is important not to relax on child safety.
“Safety is very important to us and every one of our properties is inspected by a team of lettings experts in line with Child Accident Prevention Trust guidelines and we flag up any potential issues parents should be aware of in our property descriptions.”
Here Wendy offers the benefit of her experience by highlighting some of the key dangers to look out for at your holiday accommodation.
“Check that appliances appear well-maintained, test smoke detectors are working and, if there is gas to the property, ensure these areas are well ventilated. If you have any concerns report them to the owner or manager immediately. It’s also worthwhile taking a few minutes to work out the quickest and safest route out of the building in the unlikely event that there is a fire.
“Ensure that you’re happy with the standard and condition of items such as cots and highchairs – for which safety requirements vary from country to country – if there are dangling cords on window blinds tie them up and put cleaning products out of the reach of inquisitive tiny hands.
“Balcony heights can be low and the gaps between the vertical rails wide enough for a little one to squeeze through. Ensure children are supervised at all times and furniture is not positioned where your youngster could climb up and lean over the edge.
“Bright sunlight can make it difficult to determine whether a patio door or window is open or closed and there’s a real risk of a child running into it. If there aren’t any, putting stickers at an appropriate child height can act as a visual reminder when the door is shut.
“If there is a playground or play equipment check it is well-maintained and you are confident it is safe to use before letting youngsters loose on it.
“Swimming pool safety is obviously an issue close to my heart and that’s why at Tots To Travel all our villa pools are either enclosed or have a hard cover.
“Always supervise your children in and around the pool – while they might be old enough to understand safety instructions the excitement of a holiday environment means they are likely to forget – and an adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach of infants and toddlers at all times.
“Finally, make the most of your precious family holiday…and enjoy.”