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How to combat disasters on the road
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How to combat disasters on the road

Monday, June 18, 2012 3:08:47 PM

Traveling with young children typically means you're going to be in for some surprises. While you've likely come to expect the unexpected, here are some tips for what to do when worst-case scenarios come true:

Your child becomes ill

With only a few days left of your vacation, your toddler comes down with a cold or an earache. Your child's pediatrician is probably not going to make the trip down to see you, but that doesn't mean you're out of luck. Having the names and locations of local doctors, hospitals and healthcare facilities will give you the resources you need to get your child feeling more comfortable much more quickly. Be sure to have all family member's insurance information on hand as well, in case a medical procedure needs to be performed immediately.

Picking up simple first aid items and medications like band-aids and allergy medicine can also give children the relief they need from minor irritations or accidents that occur throughout the trip.

You've lost your bags

After confirming your car rental in Atlanta, you realize your flight's checked bags are no longer coming out of the turnstile. To save yourself from buying all new clothing and toiletries for the trip, pack a few changes of clothes in each of your family's carry-on bags. To better the chances of being reunited with your luggage in a few days, make sure every piece is clearly labeled with your contact information, including your home address. Obtaining a written statement from the baggage claim attendant will also give you a contact at the airport to speak with about your claim over the next few days.

A natural disaster strikes

Although gloomy skies and the occasional thunderstorm can strip some of the fun out of a vacation, a natural disaster like a hurricane or tornado could be life-altering. Keep your family safe while you travel by looking at seasonal weather patterns and recent weather alerts (if there are any) before you head out. U.S. News and World Report recommends using the website DisasterAssistance.gov to look at a destination's history of natural disasters, as well as their emergency operations.

If you do get caught in some type of natural disaster, it's important to remain calm and collected, as your children will be looking to you to keep their own nerves at ease. They may even want to talk about some of their fears, so make sure you listen to them and reassure them that the weather will pass. Explaining the current circumstances to them in age-appropriate terms is extremely important in easing any fears, as well. If you have any previous personal experience with tornadoes or hurricanes, sharing a mild version of events with your children will make them feel more safe and secure.

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