Traveling with kids? You might want to stay out of upscale hotels. And no, we’re not just talking about the price tag; we’re talking about the safety of your little ones.
Hotels, especially the high-end ones, contain objects that can potentially harm your playful children. We know how rowdy and extremely curious kids are; every place is a playground and everything they touch is a toy. They touch the thing right after you told him not to touch the thing. At first, the hotel room furnishings are seemingly harmless, that’s why they’re often overlooked. But just like knives and lighters, they pose threats to curious and active little hands. Think about falling pieces of furniture, choking hazards, burns, slips, and falls.
When you survey pictures of rooms and amenities on the hotel’s website, here are some of the things to look for, as well as some tips to ensure kids are safe around them.
Watch out for falling furniture
1. Over the top flourishes. “Oh, what a beautiful antique English delft pottery vase! Wouldn’t it be nice if I place this beauty where my kids can see so they’d appreciate it as much as I do?” – said no parent ever. The first thing they’d want to do is to put such expensive and fragile piece out of the reach of tiny hands. They can give bad injuries once knocked over.
Those costly tall brass lamps, porcelain jars and vases, and candy-colored glassware beautify the room but they’re better off kept out of sight. Hide expensive decors, as well as glassware, coffee makers, and other breakable items in a cabinet. It goes without saying that kids tend to be safer in more affordable hotels with modest rooms.
1. Television. One wrong, careless move and a sleek television staggering on a TV stand can easily be knocked over and crash down on your kid. Not to mention the charges pressed on you for the damaged property. Luckily, most hotels have their TVs wall mounted for added safety. If it’s not mounted on the wall, make sure you push the TV all the way back. If you’re still worried, you can ask the front desk to take it out for the night.
If you’re visiting Sydney this Christmas (and you want to stay away from the iconic tourist-packed Sydney Harbor), you can check out Parramatta. You can find lots of affordable, no-frills, and kid-friendly suites in Parramatta Hotels. Your kids will also love the suburb’s world heritage buildings and parks, cultural places, stadiums, places for taking a leisurely stroll, sightseeing tours, and other fun activities you can think of, which could keep them from roaming around the cramped hotel room and potentially breaking things – like the TV.
Scan the room for choking and suffocation hazards
3. Tiny objects on the floor. Toddlers love chewing on everything they see so make sure you scan the floor for choking hazards before allowing your kid to crawl around. The housekeeping crew may have overlooked some tiny items under the bed or furniture pieces like coins, water bottle caps, buttons, and pills.
4. Renovation fumes. Prior to booking a room, ask if it was recently renovated. If yes, then you might want to transfer to other rooms. A fresh coat of paint and new carpeting may look nice. However, the bad chemical smells they leave behind can irritate and suffocate your kids. Plastic bags should also be kept hidden as they pose a suffocation threat.
5. Cribs and crib sheets. If you’re borrowing a baby bed, make sure it meets modern safety standards before letting your child in. Drop-side cribs as well as the ones that have slats with large gaps, hardware that sticks out, and decorative cutouts, are discouraged due to several safety issues. Slats shouldn’t go beyond 2 3/8 inches apart.
If you ever borrow a crib, it’s suggested to bring your own sheets as the child will feel more comfortable and safer on his/her own. In addition, a sheet that’s too snug and then snaps out during the night can pose a suffocation risk to the baby once his/her head gets caught in the loose ends.
Create an injury-free environment
6. Exposed loose cords and outlets. Lamps, unmounted hair dryers, coffee makers, and television chords should be checked. Kids might pull them or trip over them, which can cause major injuries. Tie up any loose cords, including window blinds, to prevent strangulation. Next to exposed wires are accessible outlets curious little fingers can touch. Move furniture to cover these problem areas.
7. Sharp and pointy table corners. Those round dressers might look frumpy but they are actually more kid-friendly than sleek cornered ones. You may child-proof the corner of any table by attaching a washcloth with duct tape on the pointy corners.
8. Bathroom. The fact that a bathroom is the most accident-prone area of the home holds true for hotels.
Run a thorough inspection in the bathroom:
- Hairdryers should always be mounted.
- Razors, scissors, and other sharp objects should be out of the reach.
- Toxic products like shampoo, mouthwash, and cosmetics should be hidden too.
- Watch out for slippery floors and bathtubs and make sure to have a mat or non-slip decals.
- Ensure the water taps are clearly marked so the delivered water is not too hot.
- If the door can be locked from the inside, see to it that it’s always left open a crack.
Keep kids away from death traps
9. Swimming pool. Just because the water level is shallow or the kids are wearing inflatable hoops doesn’t mean you can feel at ease. Some parents and guardians have learned the hard and painful way that kids should ALWAYS be supervised while in the pool. Tragedy knows no time and place, so avoid it by keeping a close watch on your youngster.
10. Balconies and windows. While balconies and windows are attractive room features for adults, they are death traps for eager youngsters. Make sure kids have no access to the balcony by locking the door. Windows should also be closed, and no furniture (like a chair) should be near to them as kids can climb and reach for the windows. You may also opt for ground rooms instead for your peace of mind.
Not to start a blame game here. Parents are the ones responsible for their own kids’ safety, and shouldn’t blame the hotel management for their lack. But hotels, especially the ones that are dubbed as “kid-friendly” should do their part to ensure that their property is as safe for children as it is for adults.
Author Bio: Mina Natividad is one of the writers for Holiday Inn Parramatta Accommodation, a modern hotel in Western Sydney known for their exceptional accommodation, service, and location, which appeals to travelers in Australia. She has always been passionate about giving in to her wanderlust and collecting mementos from different places.