Extended Visit Precautions
If you plan to leave your children with your parents or in-laws for a long period of time, particularly overnight, consider these suggestions:
- Compose a list of crucial phone numbers: Your cell numbers, the phone number and address of where you're going, the Poison Control number, your child's pediatrician's number, the health insurance carrier's phone.
- Leave a written note empowering the grandparents to seek medical care for your child, date it and sign it, and leave your health insurance information including policy number.
- Supply the grandparents with: Ipecac (to use only under direction of Poison Control or a physician), children's pain reliever (with dosage information and applicator or dosage cup), an antihistamine (with dosage information, if your child is old enough to have this product), anti-bacterial ointment, band aids, sunscreen and bug repellant.
- If you are taking your own vehicle with you, move your child's car seat to the grandparents' vehicle and make sure it's properly installed. Show the grandparents how the seat belt restraints lock and unlock and then ask them to demonstrate it for you.
- Supply safe bedding areas. If your child will sleep in a play yard, provide the play yard, sheets and any other bedding, and set it up before you leave. If your child typically uses a bed with a bed rail, bring your bed rail from home, or supply a portable bed rail and put it on the bed before leaving.
- If your child is an infant or young toddler, make it clear what foods you consider age appropriate and what foods are off-limits, like choking hazards. Write it down on a list and review it with the grandparents.
And don't forget, no matter how much you plan ahead for safety at a grandparents' home, there's one hazard you can't plan for: all the spoiling.