Childproofing hacks for traveling?
February 17, 2011 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Childproofing hacks for traveling? I'll be traveling in Mexico with my 2yo and 5.5yo, staying in a variety of places (rental houses, condos, B&Bs, and hotels). Given my experience with hotels in general, I think I'll need to childproof on the spot without knowing in advance what the trouble spots are and without having access to lots of supplies. Will the traveling parents of MeFi lend me their hacks?

Some of my specific concerns based on photos of typical accommodations are:
- First floor rooms with direct egress to a nearby unfenced pool
- Upper story balconies with low/no/wide railings, usually accessed via a sliding door (can I jam a stick in the track of the door?)
- Glass table tops on pedestal bases (kitchen/dining tables, not just occasional tables)
- Adult-height beds on hard tile floors

Here are some things I generally do/bring:
- Roll of wide masking tape to cover outlets and tape off doors overnight
- Rubber bands, twist ties or zip ties to keep cabinets off limits
- Put decorative breakables up high or out of sight
- Pad the floor with pillows, if available, on the 2yo's side of the bed or sleep with him between us.

My boys are normally rambunctious kids and we roll well with the typical bumps and bruises of life, but the 2yo is at the age where he's adept enough to get into trouble quickly, and the 5yo--though generally very responsible--is at the age where he is happy to facilitate his younger brother's adventures. I'd rather minimize the need for a trip to the ER trip in unfamiliar and remote places. Or worse (the pools especially concern me).
posted by Yoshimi Battles to Travel & Transportation around Mexico (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
When possible, ask for lots of extra pillows and blankets to use as padding.
posted by girlhacker at 6:37 PM on February 17, 2011

Couch cushions = pillows and makeshift barriers.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:48 PM on February 17, 2011

Doorknob covers and doorstops are two things I used to bring with me when my boy was young.
posted by lemniskate at 7:00 PM on February 17, 2011

Lightweight lifejackets seem to be a prudent thing to add to the wardrobe for when you simply can't avoid pool access. I know even when I was young (way too long ago) they had jackets for waterskiers (and kids) that were at least semi-comfortable to wear and not nearly as bulky as classic orange tie-on vests.
posted by lhauser at 7:49 PM on February 17, 2011

Lots of pillows around the bed (definitely ask for extras if you can--if not, we've taken off the top cover on the bed--which I generally think is kind of too gross to use anyway, but it depends on the quality of the place you're staying--and bunched that up on the floor by the bed). Or couch cushions, like Cool Papa Bell said.

Upper story balconies with low/no/wide railings, usually accessed via a sliding door (can I jam a stick in the track of the door?)

I would absolutely bring or pick up a broomstick for this purpose.
posted by devotion+doubt at 9:45 PM on February 17, 2011

Mine are a bit older now, but I think even at that age you can set a pretty clear expectation of what's genuinely dangerous in a new environment. Judicious use of the VOICE OF DOOM is appropriate. Hacks are good, but making them a bit more cautious than when at home is a good backup.
posted by crocomancer at 8:30 AM on February 18, 2011

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