Holiday travels with your children can be a great way to spend time together as a family, explore new places, and visit those family members and friends who don’t live close by. To have the healthiest and safest trip possible, keep these travel tips in mind:
Your medicine cabinet
- Don’t forget to pack any prescription medication your child takes. Ensure you have enough for the whole trip
- Carry commonly used over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen, cold medications, antibiotic ointment, and Benadryl.
- Don’t forget a few Band-Aids and a thermometer; they can come in very handy. If your child gets splinters often, consider a pair of tweezers too.
Children require car seats
- Ensure that you have the proper seat for your child’s weight and age, and that it is correctly installed in the vehicle you are traveling in.
- If you are traveling by plane, it is strongly recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration to bring car seats for toddlers and infants and fastening them to an airplane seat. Remember that you will need to buy a separate ticket for the child in order to use the seat. Confirm with the airline if discounts are available. But make sure you measure before you go! The car seat must be 16 inches wide in order to fit.
Be mindful of common travel health problems
- If your child easily gets carsick, ensure that he/she is high enough in the car to be able to see out the window, as this can help. Keep windows slightly open for a breeze, and have some light snacks like pretzels on hand; both can help get rid of nausea. If your child has especially bad carsickness, speak to your doctor about medications your child can take.
- When people fly, ear pain can be a problem. Nursing your infant or having them take a bottle during take-off and landing is a good idea, as swallowing helps fight ear pain. For older children, try giving them gum to chew, a drink, or playing a yawning game to stop their ears from blocking up.
- Constipation may occur since what you eat and schedules when traveling and often different than when you are home. Give your child plenty of fluids, and ensure there is fibre such as whole grains or fruits in their diet.
- Carry a hand sanitizer with you at all times to help get rid of germs which can be anywhere when you travel.
Do your homework
- Write down the medical information of your child, particularly medication allergies, prescription medications and health problems; and keep it with you at all times. If your child has to go see a doctor during your holiday travels, the doctor will need to know these things.
- Carry the names and phone numbers of all the doctors your child sees, including specialists, just in case the doctor you see (or you) needs to contact them.
- Find out from your doctor which are the best hospitals in the area you are going to on your holiday travels, so you’ll know where to go should the need arise.
- Ensure that you carry your health insurance cards on your holiday travels, and confirm with your insurance company about coverage in that area. Keep in mind that you may need to go to a particular hospital or call for approval.
When traveling outside the country
- If your holiday travels take you to certain countries, you and your child may need special vaccines. Find out at least six to eight weeks before traveling, because many of the vaccines have to be administered at least a month prior to travel and you may require an appointment at a special travel clinic to receive certain vaccines.
- Research about particular health risks such as malaria in the country you are traveling to and discuss with your doctor about methods of prevention.
It seems like a lot, but mainly it’s simply a matter of planning. It can make a huge difference when it comes to making your holiday travels memorable for all the right reasons.