A recent European Child Safety Alliance report suggested that in some countries, a high number of children admitted to hospital were actually foreigners, and with Spain being one of the busiest tourist destinations in the world, this means a lot of children spend part of their holidays in hospital. Of course, accidents happen, but there’s still a great deal parents can do to keep their kids safe in the sunshine.
We’ve already looked briefly at how you can protect children and babies skin from burning, however many people still underestimate how strong the sun can be – even if you avoid the hottest part of the day. If you’re travelling round the Malaga region in one of our hire cars, make sure that you keep an additional bottle of sun screen and water with you in case of emergency stops. Young children are affected by the heat extremely quickly, so make sure you keep them cool at all times, and if you’re strolling around one of the resorts, ensure your pushchair has a UV-protective parasol or cover.
Safe and Sound
Here in the UK you can buy a myriad of simple but effective child safety products, yet we rarely take any with us when we go on holiday. Before you travel, check with your agent or property-owner how suitable the accommodation is for young children and if they have any safety equipment there already. For example, stair gates can be invaluable for preventing little explorers from venturing outdoors on their own, and a night-light not only soothes a young child afraid of an unfamiliar bedroom, but also prevents against trip hazards. A baby monitor can also give parents an extra sense of reassurance even if you don’t use one at home. Just don’t forget your adapters!
Holiday accommodation is rarely designed with children in mind, and may contain furniture that whilst looking fabulous, might feature sharp edges or corners. In this case, a cheap pack of corner covers can mean the difference between a happy toddler and a trip to the local hospital.
Worst case scenario
If you’re travelling anywhere with children, you should take extra care to ensure you’re prepared should they need any kind of medical treatment. Try and locate your nearest pharmacy (even if you don’t plan on using it) and be aware of their opening hours, as this could be your first port of call for many minor ailments.
Register all children for their own European Health Insurance Card, and ensure these are valid. The EHIC can be used by holidaymakers and people visiting Spain to cover them on the same terms as a Spanish national. Be aware that the EHIC doesn’t supply the same level of protection as travel insurance, or guarantee the same free-of-care treatment that you’d receive under the NHS. Keep your EHIC cards safe as you’ll need to present these (along with your passports) should you need emergency treatment.
The EHIC card cannot be used in place of travel insurance, and certainly won’t cover the expense of repatriation, so ensure your children are covered under your policy. Nearly all policies cover children, however some cheaper deals may offer ‘family cover’ meaning a number of related adults with named children as additional extras. Check the details of your policy to be sure.
On the road
The same ECAS report mentioned above also lists road accidents as one of the biggest causes of injury to children across Europe. Here in Spain we have very strict laws governing carrying children and babies in vehicles, stating that all children must be restrained in an appropriate seat and location, with penalties for breaking these laws ranging from on the spot fines to imprisonment. So if you’re renting a car from Malaga airport and you have children with you, this applies from the moment you collect your car from the office. If you decide not to bring your own car seat with you, you can hire one along with your vehicle from www.malagacar.com from as little as 3€ a day – a small price to pay to guarantee the safety of your little one.
This was a brief guide to Travel with Kids, to help you make the most of your family vacation, we hope you find this helpful!