Childproofing Your Hotel Room

Even before vacationing parents check into their hotel room, they can begin to take preventive measures to ensure their child's safety once inside.

Heather Paul, executive director of the National Safe Kids Campaign, gave CBS News a list of do's and don'ts for the vacationing parent.

When you're making your travel reservation, ask if the hotel does any childproofing, Paul advises. Some hotels will actually childproof your room for you. Several chains will provide childproofing kits.

You also can bring along items to protect young children, including outlet covers, corner protectors, nightlights, doorknob covers and something to bundle up long, loose cords.

It's best not to leave small children in the bathroom unsupervised. Built-in hair dryers are sometimes too close to the bathtub. You may want to have a water spout cover in the bathtub along with a bath thermometer.

Paul also recommends:

  • If there is a coffeepot, make sure it's far back from the edge of the counter.
  • Don't get a room with a balcony or one with a patio door opening out to a swimming pool area.
  • Ask the hotel staff to remove ashtrays and vases from the room.
  • Get a baby sitter if necessary. Don't assume kids are safe in a hotel room alone.
If you need a crib, most hotels and motels will provide one, but make sure it meets safety requirements. A crib should have a fold-down side, spacing between slats (2 3/8 inches) that is too small for a child's head, corner posts that don't rise above the height of the crib, a tightly fitting mattress and no loose parts.

Some hotels are better than others when it comes to accomodating kids.

And find about how to protect children's safety when they fly on their own, in Away From Home - Alone.

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