Traveling with Babies & Children During COVID-19
There was a point, soon after the coronavirus pandemic first hit America, when we all probably wondered if we’d ever travel again. As the months went by, the desire to get out and explore has only grown and many people are reconsidering what’s possible in terms of safely traveling and vacationing this year. While safety is still paramount, parents also have to consider their own sanity and what memories they can still make during this unprecedented time.
Parents across the country want to travel, connect with friends and family and have adventures; however, they are questioning whether travel can be safely done with kids right now. Making travel plans seems even more complicated than ever. Flying with babies and children is already a stressful experience, and the additional COVID-19 safety precautions now give travelers even more to think about.
To help, we’ve gathered answers to some general FAQs so you can decide whether you should be making or canceling flights for your family.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to advise against nonessential travel, noting that “travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.” Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.
- On January 12, 2021 the CDC issued an order for all international travelers – as well as Americans traveling abroad – to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the U.S. The new rule went into effect on January 26, 2021.
- Additionally, President Joe Biden signed an executive order mandating masks in airports and on planes, trains, ships and intercity buses.
- There are more ways to prevent transmission when traveling by plane. Use alcohol-based sanitizer or disinfectant wipes on items other people have touched, such as tray tables and armrests.
- The CDC also recommends people age 2 and older should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household. If your little one is under 2 years old, the CDC says he or she should not wear a face mask because it could be a choking hazard.
- Some states continue to impose quarantine or testing restrictions for travelers, especially travelers from states that are currently experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
- However, one of the most important things remains maintaining proper hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water – especially before eating and touching your face. Make sure children scrub for at least 20 seconds, rinse with water and thoroughly dry with a clean paper towel.
Public health experts agree that while there’s no such thing as a “risk-free trip” during the pandemic, these are ways to significantly reduce your family’s risk of getting sick.
The Bottom Line
The good news is that you don’t have to cancel your plans. You can make travel with kids a reality during the pandemic. However, social distancing is still highly recommended to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Every parent knows that might be a little tricky on an airplane or in an airport. At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best for you and your family. Experts recommend staying home right now whenever possible but if you do travel, we hope these safety suggestions help you and your family stay safer and travel smarter.