Safety advocates warn parents to ensure homes they travel to for holidays are baby-proofed

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rebecca and David Richelsoph are used to traveling with their 2-year-old daughter Rosie for the holidays.

We caught up with the Washington D.C. couple on their drive to Connecticut for Thanksgiving.

“All the same utensils, sippy cups, plates that we use at home, we Amazon right to my parents’ place so it’s a new home but familiar equipment,” said Rebecca Richelsoph. “Her favorite stuffed animal we actually have a travel version of.”

In addition to packing all of Rosie’s familiar belongings, they make sure the homes they’re going to are also baby-ready.

That includes checking for any electronics or other items that shouldn’t be within the toddler’s reach.

Rebecca Richelsoph said she has had the talk with her own mother about it.

“It has really helped to be like, OK this might have been OK for me when I was two in 1986 but it’s not good for my 2-year-old in 2022,” said Rebecca Richelsoph.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents that some of the biggest hazards can happen where the baby sleeps.

“No extraneous blankets,” said CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric. “No crib bumpers. No pillows. Just a flat sheet. You can dress the baby warmly but really all the extra things are a suffocation risk. These aren’t necessarily things that your parents, grandparents think about, but we want to make sure if they’re going to a new environment to keep the baby safe.”

The Richelsophs said they have also found it helpful to have these conversations with family members year-round, not just during the holidays.

“Making the holiday successful is a lot about conversations that are had outside the context of the holidays and then also recognizing, I don’t think we put it all on them,” said David Richelsoph. “We make sure we’re present and attentive and notice things. So, I think there’s a bit of meeting in the middle that happens.”