The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has teamed up with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for the fifth year running to promote the 2016 Balcony Safety Campaign.
The successful joint safety initiative raises awareness around the need for vigilance when it comes to using balconies in youth orientated resorts. The campaign not only focusses on preventing alcohol/balcony related injuries but also on safety for children.
As part of the campaign the organisations have created a poster, available to download here, which features the following tips on balcony safety:
- Never leave children unsupervised on balconies
- Height and designs of balconies may vary from country to country, so don’t presume they are child (or even adult) friendly
- Keep all balcony furniture away from the balcony wall or railings so that children are not encouraged to climb up them
- Don’t leave potential trip hazards on the balcony e.g. toys, buckets and spades etc.
- Be mindful of any gaps within the balcony structure. It may be possible for children to use these as a climbing frame or potentially slip through the gaps
- Be aware that glass in balcony doors can be difficult to see in bright sunlight and at night – and very few hotels have “toughened” or safety glass in their windows, doors and panes
- Before closing the door whilst on the balcony – check that there’s a handle on the outside, so you can get back in.
Holiday safety tips for children
Aside from balcony safety, there’s plenty of other things to consider to make sure you, your children and your grandchildren stay safe and have plenty of fun while on your travels.
To make the most of your poolside fun, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) provides plenty of advice on its website. Here are a few quick tips from ROSPA:
- Choose pools that are fenced with locking gates to ensure there aren’t any unplanned pool plunges
- Where possible, take turns to watch over the children, younger children should be supervised at all times
- Take children to swimming classes while away – they’re a great way of gaining confidence and learning about safety.
Sunburn is a very common way to spoil a few days of your holiday, however it is also easily preventable if you’re well prepared and stocked up with sunscreen.
The NHS website offers the following guidance on protecting your skin while in the sun:
- Use at least a factor 15 (SPF) sunscreen and choose a “broad-spectrum” brand that has a four or five-star rating
- Apply sunscreen at least half an hour before going outdoors and again just before going out and reapply it often throughout the day
- Choose sunscreens that are formulated for children and babies’ skin
- Keep babies in complete shade and dress them in loose-fitting clothes and a wide-brimmed hat that shades their face and neck.
While it is always worth doing some research around your holiday and discussing any safety concerns with your travel agent or provider in advance, with common sense and a bit of extra vigilance, everyone can enjoy a safe and joy-filled holiday.