Traveling With Toddlers: Keeping Them Safe

Jeanne Sager

Photo by MommyinBliss
The first time I traveled with my toddler to the big city from our small town, I was nervous. Not about the city, per se, but about what would happen should we be separated.

She could talk your ear off, recite her name and address, but she didn't know my cell phone number (I rarely use it) and we were a good three hours from home.

And by home I mean a small town where people stop me on the street to tell me how much she looks like my grandmother -- if she gets lost here, there's no question she'd get back home.

I haven't gotten so reactionary that I'm putting a kiddie lo-jack on my kid, but my thirst for big city life means we've had to come up with some extra tricks for keeping tabs on the toddler, or at least making it safer for her if something were to happen:

  1. Write your vital statistics on a piece of paper and stow it in their pocket. Teach them to pull it out and give to an adult, putting special emphasis on finding someone in a uniform.
  2. Use permanent marker to write your name and number on the soles of their sneakers. This has the added benefit of acting as a personalization when you have to take their kicks off in a public playland.
  3. Use a fake tattoo. There are a number of variations on these, but the Safety Tat has worked well for my daughter because unlike the tats that require you to press them on their skin and soak with a washcloth, these are more like stickers. It makes them easier to apply neatly and less likely to bubble up on the skin. Write your number on the "tat" with a supplied marker, and you're good to go.
  4. Snap a photo of your tot with your camera phone. If you're separated, you will have an up-to-date photo complete with exactly what clothes they're wearing that day.

What are your tips to keep tabs on the tots while traveling?

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