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CALIFORNIA CAR SEAT LAWS
"In California, car seat laws err further on the side of caution than many other states. California state law requires children to ride in a federally approved baby car seat or child booster seat until they are at least 8 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds. California also requires children under age 16 to be buckled up with a seat belt." Please click the "4 Steps for Kids" file for a quick reference.
REAR FACING SEATS in the back seat from birth to at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds.
FORWARD-FACING SEATS in the back seat from age 1 and 20 pounds to about age 4 and 40 pounds.
BOOSTER SEATS in the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8, unless 4'9" tall. Booster Seats until child is 8 years or 4'9"
SAFETY BELTS at age 8 and older or taller than 4'9". All children age 12 and under should ride in the back seat.
GETTING BABY"S GEAR THROUGH AIRPORT SECURITY
(compliments of Baby Travel Pros)
You will be required to have ALL of your items scanned or screened once you get to the security checkpoint. This includes:
Baby’s shoes (remove them and place in the bin along with diaper bag)
If any of your child-related equipment does not fit through the X-ray machine, security officers will visually and physically inspect it.
Front carrier or back pack carrier
WALK THROUGH METAL DETECTOR
If your child can walk without your assistance, they recommend that you and your child walk through the metal detector separately. If you are carrying your child through the metal detector and the alarm sounds, a TSA Security Officer will have to additionally screen both you and your child.
Remove babies and children from their strollers or infant carriers so that the TSA Security Officers can screen them individually.
You may not pass the child to another person behind you or in front of you during this process.
Do not pass your child to a TSA Security Officer to hold.
Ask a TSA officer to help you collect your gear as it comes out of the machine
FOOD AND DRINKS
You are allowed to bring baby/toddler formula, breast milk, baby food, juice, and prescription medication in quantities over 3 ounces. It must be a reasonable amount for the length of your flight however and the TSA officer may test it for explosives if they feel it is necessary.
What’s allowed to be over 3.4 ounces and should not be in a plastic bag:
Pre-mixed formula - powdered formula is exempt from the rule but you cannot bring ANY water through the checkpoint. Remember you can purchase bottled water in the terminals. Remember to read your formula packaging - typically is only good for about an hour once it’s mixed and un-refrigerated.
Breastmilk - is allowed whether you are traveling with or without your child.
Baby food – jarred, processed, canned, squeeze pouches, but only in a reasonable amount for your travel time. It’s best to purchase questionable items after the security checkpoint. With new baby food packaging and brands out there, it may be easier to transition your child to these foods so that they are comfortable before travel.
Drinks – It may be easier to travel through security with drinks already in sippy cups rather than in the original container. Items requiring ice packs, may not be worth the hassle of bringing. The ice packs may be confiscated and milk is available for purchase past the checkpoint and sometimes onboard the aircraft. If you do bring ice packs, try to avoid the gel-filled kind.
MAKE YOUR TRIP BETTER USING 3-1-1
(compliments of Transportation Security Administration)
TSA and their security partners conducted extensive explosives testing since August 10, 2006 and determined that liquids, aerosols and gels, in limited quantities, are safe to bring aboard an aircraft. The one bag limit per traveler limits the total amount each traveler can bring. Consolidating the bottles into one bag and X-raying them separately from the carry-on bag enables security officers to quickly clear the items.
3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. One-quart bag per person limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. 3.4 ounce (100ml) container size is a security measure.
Be prepared. Each time TSA searches a carry-on it slows down the line. Practicing 3-1-1 will ensure a faster and easier checkpoint experience.
3-1-1 is for short trips. If in doubt, put your liquids in checked luggage.
Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula and food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open these items to conduct additional screening.
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Extra clothes - (plan on 2 outfits per day)
Infant Gas Reliever
Infants' TYLENOL® Drops to reduce fever and relieve pain. Use only as directed.
Nasal Aspirator and Saline Nose Drops
Baby Nail Clippers or Scissors
Child's Formula Sunscreen
Review restrictions: If a passenger plans to bring breast milk, formula or other baby-related liquids for the flight, check the online guidelines of the TSA, or the international airport operator. "Be aware of the rules and it will go much more smoothly," says Frommer.
Arrive early: Make sure to leave plenty of time at the airport to allow for security surprises, or other unexpected delays. "There is nothing worse than trying to run to catch an airplane," says Lauren Goldenberg, owner of the Family Traveler agency, especially with toddlers in tow. "You just never know when those lines will get long," she says.
Pick the right lane: Many airports offer security lines earmarked for travelers with young children, who will need extra assistance. "They really help cut down on the time standing in line," says Anne Taylor Hartzell, Editor of HipTravelMama.com, "... and separate you from business travelers who may be less patient with you struggling to close your baby stroller."
Preview the process: "The best thing is to prepare the children for what's going to happen," says Goldenberg. Warning your young traveling companions in advance that their toys will take a trip through an X-ray machine could avoid an unpleasant surprise.
Free your hands: "A baby carrier saves a lot of time," says Hartzell. Traveling families often have strollers, car seats and other bulky items. Trying to get the gear through the X-ray machine while shepherding young children through the metal detector, can be a challenge. Putting a baby in a carrier attached to a parent leaves hands free for luggage -- and for keeping toddlers from running amok.
Share the load: Families with two adults can divide and conquer. One can supervise the children while the other folds the stroller and gets the bags through the X-ray machine. Parents who are flying alone can ask their airline about getting a gate pass for a friend or family member who can help. And children can carry their own weight, if they have a small bag. "I find it's great even at a young age if children have their own," says Goldenberg.
Keep calm: "Don't your let your anxieties translate to your children," advises Frommer. "That's when the meltdowns happen." If you lose your cool, your children probably will, too
THEME PARK /ATTRACTION ADVICE
1. Have each child (ages 0-18) wear a physical ID at all times, an ID Bracelet, or Velcro shoe tag or personalized Dog Tags. Call Me Cuffs - temporary ID Bracelets
2. Play the "What if ..." game with your children. If you ask my toddler, "What if Mommy gets lost?" (they never think they are lost) she will tell you, "Find another mommy, take off my shoe (or bracelet) and ask the mommy to call you!"
3. Agree on a meeting or gathering spot if your teen and you get seperated.
4. Have a plan: If we get separated, stay where you are, and Mommy will find you. If you are scared, ask another mommy to stay with you and call me.
5. Have a photo ID of each child in your wallet. In case of separation, you have a photo and description to help others looking for the child. Each adult with the group needs these. Or take a photo with your phone or digital camera as you enter the location.
6. Have multiple family contacts and telephone numbers in the glove box, in your purse, in backpacks, on shoe stickers, on strollers, etc. Add numbers for family members not traveling with you (grandma, sister, uncle, brother).
7. Every child and teen should carry an ID card with family contact numbers, cell phone numbers plus a medical release signature. Put it in their wallet, in their backpack and on their car seat and stroller.
8. Teach the child to drop to the ground and scream loudly, "He is not my daddy/mommy. HELP!" if someone tries to take them.
9. Consider a child locator or tracking device.
Side-by-side strollers range in width from 25 inches to 33 inches. Most can only accept one infant car seat, but many have deep reclining seats that are suitable for newborn twins. Side-by-side double strollers are shorter in length than tandem strollers and usually offer better steering ability.
Tandem strollers have front/back seating and so are usually the same width as a single stroller for ease of pushing in store aisles or through skinny doorways. These types of two-seat strollers are the longest, though, so steering may not be as effortless as other double stroller types.
Convertible strollers can transform from a single to a double by adding a second seat. Some are best for newborn twins, and some are best for an older/younger sibling.
Best strollers for twins need to be able to accommodate two newborns. This means the stroller must offer one of the following for your twin babies: reclined seats rated from birth, or option for two bassinets/carrycots, or option to carry two infant car seats.