July 24, 2019

Tips for Managing Air Travel with Young Children

Vacations may seem like fun getaways for families, but with them comes an often dreaded necessity: air travel. While flying with young children can be challenging, Macaroni Kid Centreville‘s Jourdan Card highlighted 10 tips to help you travel like a pro.

To read Card’s full article, visit the Macaroni Kid Centreville website.

Tip 1: Don’t Overpack Your Carry-On

    • It’s tempting to fill your carry-on to the brim, including any and every item your child might want along the way. But lugging around a heavy bag is exhausting, especially when you have a young child or children to look after. Jourdan Card’s rule of thumb is always one extra outfit per kid and an extra shirt for the adults caring for them. Calculating the total travel time, she also prepares one diaper per hour. If your child uses a pacifier, packing several could be useful. You’ll need extra just in case the first one drops on the floor. Caregivers should also prepare snacks, bottles/formula, and any needed medicines or comfort items.

Tip 2: Conquer Security Like A Boss

    • Going through security is already a long process, so families are encouraged to prepare ahead of time to avoid additional delays. Card recommends wearing as little extra clothing as possible, because scarves, hats, belts, and other loose items will all have to come off. She recommends simple clothing such as well-fitting pants, a shirt, and tennis shoes. In addition to this, she recommends pulling out any mobile devices, food, and liquids before getting in line so they’re ready to go instead of trying to get them out of the bag last minute. To make this easier, you can put the items in clear, ziplock backs so security can check them quickly as well.

Tip 3: Keep Your Hands Available

    • Card recommends babywearing through security, that way you can gate-check your stroller for free. If your stroller is small enough to fit on the conveyer belt, it has to go through, so make sure you know how to fold it quickly ahead of time. If the stroller is too big, it will have to go through the metal detector and receive a manual screening.

Tip 4: Potty Break

    • Allow for extra time to get through security and go to the bathroom before your flight. It’s not the easiest process to change a young child in an airplane bathroom, so this is highly recommended!

Tip 5: The Muli-Bag System

    • During her family trips, Card usually carries a decent-sized backpack to store everyone’s items. But in addition to that, she packs some reusable grocery bags. Placing each child’s stuff in their own grocery bag, Card allows her children to keep their things separate on the plane, that way the children have easy access to their items and feel control over their items.

Tip 6: Bring Your Children’s Favorites

    • In her example, Card mentions that her toddler loved milk. But she learned the hard way that milk isn’t always available on planes. Because of this, she recommends buying some of your child’s favorites in the shops after you go through security. It’ll keep your child calm on the ride.

Tip 7: Create A Busy Binder

    • Before going on trips, Card puts together a binder full of ziplock bags, each storing a simple activity. When her kids get cranky or bored during the trip, she pulls them out for some needed fun!

Tip 8: Headphones

    • While many airlines have small televisions in the seatbacks, the headphones they provide can often be too big for young children’s ears, which means they’re going to be falling out or off constantly. If you’re going to have access to any digital tech, Card recommends bringing kid-sized headphones so they can watch their favorite shows without disturbing others.

Tip 9: Car Seats On Airplanes

    • Double-check that your car seat is TSA approved, there will be a small sticker on the back or side letting you know. If it is, you’re legally allowed to bring your child’s car seat on the plane. However, if you choose to use a car seat in lieu of a lap-held infant (2 and under), each person must have their own purchased seat.

Tip 10: Proof of ID

    • It’s not guaranteed to happen, but some airline staff may request proof of your child’s age. Card recommends being prepared by carrying a copy of your children’s birth certificates just in case.

*Information collected from Macaroni Kid Centreville


July 8, 2019

Safe Travels: Keeping Children Safe from the Heat

Traveling with children in the car isn’t always easy, especially if there has been a change in a parent’s routine or schedule. When caregivers feel tired or distracted, they may put their child or other children at risk due to unsafe vehicle behaviors.


Even if the outside temperature feels cool, leaving a child in the car, intentionally or unintentionally, is dangerous. While outside temperatures may be in the mid-60s, the temperature inside a vehicle can quickly rise above 110°F, rising almost 20°F within the first 10 minutes. However, the risk of leaving a young child in the car is completely preventable.

Preventative Measures

Read these tips from Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock! to learn how to keep your child safe:

Never leave a child alone in a motor vehicle.

Leaving a child alone in a car can lead to serious injury or death from heatstroke. It takes only minutes for a vehicle to heat up and become deadly. Young children are particularly at risk, as their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s.

Make a habit of checking your back seat.

Place your purse, cell phone, briefcase, backpack or other items you typically carry in the backseat when you enter the vehicle. Put the diaper bag in the front seat with you as a reminder that your child is still in the vehicle. Open the back door to check the back seat when you exit your vehicle.

If you see a child unattended in a vehicle, call 911.

Immediately call 911 if you see a child unattended in a vehicle. Provide the 911 operator with as much information as you can–type and color of vehicle, location in the parking lot, etc. Stay with the vehicle–don’t go into a store or office and assume the police are on their way. Check to see if the vehicle doors are unlocked.

After parking your car, lock it. Children who get inside an unlocked vehicle can become trapped.

A vehicle may be a tempting hiding spot for playing children. Lock your vehicle to prevent children from getting inside.

*Information provided by PA Promise for Children


November 19, 2018

2018 Child Passenger Safety Recommendations

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for children four years and older. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated the Child Passenger Safety policy statement and technical report based on new evidence gathered over the past 10 years. The documents will be published in the November issue of Pediatrics. The updated guidance advises children to ride rear-facing as long as possible. Two years of age is no longer a specific age criterion when a child changes from a rear- to a forward-facing car safety seat.
View the AAP New article.


Angela Osterhuber, Ed.M., Director, PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project (TIPP) offers this advice:

  • Secure infants and toddlers in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat. In Pennsylvania, children younger than two years must be secured in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat that has an active passenger-side front airbag. If the airbag inflates, it will hit the back of the car seat, right where the baby’s headrests, and could cause serious injury or death.
  • Traveling rear-facing is safer than forward-facing.
  • Call TIPP at 800/CAR-BELT x24 (in PA) for help with questions about the new recommendations.

Additional Tips

Car seats must be used correctly to properly protect your child in a crash. The AAP’s parent magazine,, has an article titled Car Seat Checkup with other car seat tips for families, such as:

Information provided by NAEYC.