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Five safety tips to keep your baby safe if you’re travelling this Christmas

From car seats to stair gates, read our expert tips before you set off

Whether you’re heading abroad to find snow, or going down the road to visit family, keep this festive season fun with your family by checking out our top safety tips.

Avoid bulky car seat clothing

If you’re joining the estimated 20 million people on the roads this Christmas, make sure you take off any bulky winter coats or clothing before putting your child in their car seat.

Tempting as it may be to bundle them up and strap them in as the temperature dips, bulky clothing can affect how tight the car seat harness will be round them.

If the harness isn’t tight enough, it can potentially affect its effectiveness in a crash. Plus, it can also make it easier for your child to slip out of the harness, so don’t risk it.

Travelling with a newborn or very young baby? The Baby Products Association advises parents not to use a car seat in the first four weeks of a baby’s life for periods of more than 30 minutes.

If it’s essential to travel within the first four weeks of your baby’s birth, take regular breaks, at least every 30 minutes, and have an adult sit in the back to monitor your baby. Remove your baby from the seat for a break before continuing with your journey.

Stay on the right side of the law: before you head off, read our guide to car seat laws in the UK and abroad.


Keep your travel cot mattresses

Some 50% of parents tell us that they own a travel cot.* If you’re taking one away with you this Christmas, don’t be tempted to buy a new mattress for it.

Use the mattress that comes with the cot, as this is a key component in helping keep it stable.

Some travel cot mattresses might seem thin or hard, but using a different mattress may alter how well your travel cot holds up.

Read more essential safety tips in our guide to travel cot safety


Take a digital thermometer

With scarlet fever rife this year, and the cases of measles having hit a record high, packing your digital thermometer means you can easily check your baby’s temperature even if you’re not in the comfort and familiarity of your own home.

It’s small, lightweight and will mean you can check what temperature is safe or not.


Beware baby monitor cables

Taking a baby monitor away with you can bring peace of mind when you’re not at home, and hopefully even a good night’s sleep.

But if you’re in an unfamiliar bedroom, without the same amount of space or a different layout to your home, make sure you position the monitor well away from your baby’s sleeping area.

Ensure any trailing cables are well out the way and can’t be reached by little hands, and make sure the cables won’t be a trip hazard when you’re moving about the room in the dark to check on your baby.

Read our top five baby monitor safety tips


Check your stair gate for safety

Taking an adventurous toddler away with you? If you’re heading to friends or family, check they have a stair gate. If they do, check it’s not one of our Don’t Buy stair gates. In October, we warned parents about three stair gates to avoid due to serious safety failures during Which? tests.

* Survey of 3,445 parents in February 2018 with children up to the age of five.

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