If you RV during the holidays, you may have an inordinate amount of children running in and out of your rig. Some may be your children and some may not be. However, there is no doubt that those little whippersnappers are going to open every drawer and door as they explore. If you plan on hosting young children in your RV, you may want to consider doing a little child proofing.
As a new parent, I can tell you that toddlers will see everything that you don’t! You can pretty much bet that if they find it, they are going to either put it in their mouth or stick their finger in it. We’ve had to take virtually identical steps to childproof the Travel Trailer we bought from Nielson RV as we did our home.
So, what can you do to make sure your RV is as safe as your home is for your child, or grand child?
The Kitchen area: This is possibly the most dangerous area in regards to the interior of your RV that will need attention. There are a lot of activities that take place in your kitchenette area from cooking on hot burners and stove tops, splattering liquids and grease, cleaning chemicals, exposed knives, scissors and a whole host of nasty and potentially harmful items. You best bet is to keep them out of the RV altogether if you are cooking inside. However, sometimes they can’t go outside, so you’ll have to do your best to keep them away from any dangers in your RV’s kitchen. You can actually get a pressure mounted baby gate to put up if kids have no other place to go. At the very least, get them involved in an activity that keeps them out of your way. It takes just an instant for a family vacation to turn into a family emergency.
Inside your RV: This is where you just have to use common sense. Make sure all accessible outlets are plugged. That paper clip that you dropped and neglected to pick up? Yeah. If your toddler finds it, I can guarantee you that it will find its way into an open outlet at some point. Also, keep your toilet chemicals out of their hands as well. If you have to move them to under rig storage, do it. If you have a way of securing the doors under the sink, do it. It might not be a place you’d consider to be a fun play area, but you also aren’t an inquisitive toddler with cleaning chemicals in colorful bottles right there at eye level. If you have to keep cleaning chemicals in your rig, find a high place for them.
Outside your RV: Kids are going to want to play outside of your RV, after all, introducing them to the great outdoors is a major reason for RVing with kids in the first place. Now there’s not much you can do about the insect bites, the abrasions and, God forbid, the occasional broken bone. What you can do is make sure that your campsite is as kid friendly as possible. Make sure your hoses and any extension cords are contained and tucked away as much as they can be. Educate your kids on the things to stay away from, like fresh water lines and power sources. Also, make sure all of your storage compartments are completely closed and locked. No one wants their kids getting into the black and grey water compartments. That, and your under rig storage may seem like a great hiding place, but in the heat of the Summer and virtually no way to get out if they get accidentally locked in pose a significant risk to kids. It’s best to teach children that they aren’t allowed to open or touch anything on the exterior of your RV without your permission.
Of course, nothing is a substitute for education and good old fashioned adult supervision. You will have to blink sometimes, you may even have to turn your back on them for a moment, just remember, a moment is all that it takes for disaster to strike. If you know that a child will be running around your rig like a giant playhouse, it is your responsibility to make sure it is safe and free from obvious perils. Even if it isn’t your child, it is your RV and therefore your responsibility.
If you have any tips, or hits for the RVing parents and Grandparents out there, don’t hesitate to share your advice on Facebook. Any education on ways to child proof your RV is welcome, as there aren’t very many obvious resources out there.