Guest blogger Paige Desroches shares her insights on keeping kids safe when flying on their own.
As parents consider whether to send a child to visit family, go to a camp or travel for any other reason without adult supervision, a wide range of worries can come to mind. Parents might worry about a child remaining hungry, feeling bored, getting sick or missing a connecting flight. Sending Junior and Sissy off into the great wide world alone can be more stressful on the parents than the children. While it is hard not to worry about the little travelers, parents can maintain peace of mind with a few tips that avoid the concerns.
Limiting Worries With Information
Beyond setting up a service to help children reach their connection and finding ways to protect personal data that a child might carry, parents can obtain peace of mind by giving children enough information to reduce the risk of complications. As posted on TravelWithYourKids.com, parents should have children memorize details like their flight itinerary, the name and phone number of the individual meeting them at the airport, emergency contact numbers and a home phone number in case delays or other problems occur.
Since a child is traveling alone and will need to carry some identifying information, parents should take measures to protect that data. A simple solution is using the services of a company like Lifelock to monitor a child’s credit information before the trip. Identity theft protection services will alert parents to any activity on the account, which provides the ability to act quickly if a child has lost papers with personal information or has faced problems during the trip.
Children who are armed with phone numbers, a calling card and the details of their trip, are less likely to face problems on the flight. By giving children emergency numbers and a calling card or cell phone to make phone calls in emergency situations, parents can feel confident that children are safe on their flight.
Missed Connection Mishaps
Missed connections are a risk for any traveler, but airlines often have escorts that assist children traveling alone to help ensure they reach their final destination. Fox News reports that parents need to trust their children to reach their connecting flight, even if a service is hired as a chaperon. Parents can reduce the risk of a child missing a connection by ensuring he or she understands the flight itinerary before reaching the airport.
Offer Advice to Reduce the Risk of Thefts or Problems
Before leaving a child at the airport, parents should give some advice to reduce potential problems related to strangers. According to Gadling.com, travelers who are alone should carry their bags in front of them and should never tell strangers that they are alone. The risks are reduced if children understand that they need to be wary of strangers and only ask help from an individual in a uniform. Children traveling alone will be safe if they are cautious of strangers at the airport.
While parents will always worry about their children, taking measures to ensure child safety on a flight can reduce the concerns. Children who are old enough to travel without a parent are also old enough to remember phone numbers and limit the risks of flying alone. Adding to the stress is never a good thing for anyone. Keeping your children informed of these tips will not only keep them safe and calm, from personal information to luggage safety, but will take away layers and layers of worry for you.