While hotels and motels present fewer potential dangers than most homes, keep these tips in mind.
- Book a ground-floor room. Ask for one close to the main desk. You'll find it easier to get yourself, your child, and all her gear to and from the room, and you'll avoid the trouble that comes with stairs and elevators.
- Carry along easy-to-install safety devices. If you're staying for a while, install safety latches on cabinets, drawers, and the bathroom door. (Duct tape and cords that don't have more than a few inches can substitute for latches. Doorknob covers that prevent your child from turning the knob can also keep kids out of off-limit rooms.) Cover outlets with safety plugs. Wrap any dangling electrical cords and window treatment cords. Be sure windows are closed and locked at the bottom and that your child cannot enter any terrace or deck area without you.
- Check out the room's safety features. Is there a smoke detector in the room with a working battery? (You can carry a battery tester with you.) Read the safety warnings posted in the room so you know what to do in the event of a fire or other emergency. Know where your nearest exits are.
- Bring your child's own bedding. If the hotel or motel provides a crib, be sure that it meets safety standards. Bring along a favorite blanket so your child can enjoy the comforting familiarity of his own things while in a strange place.