Healthy travel with children

A family trip is so much fun! To enjoy it worry-free, it's important to be well prepared. Especially when travelling with children...

Before you leave

It would be a shame if the trip with the kids that you've been dreaming of was overshadowed by health issues. You can keep everyone healthy and have a great time with your family by preparing properly and anticipating potential situations!

When preparing for your trip, you should consider several factors. First, check if any vaccines are recommended for the place you will be visiting and make sure that your children's vaccination records are up to date. If not, don't wait until the last minute to complete Vaccination. Most vaccines require some time after they are administered to be fully effective.

If your children have health issues, make sure you have everything you need to take care of them, such as:

  • prescribed and non-prescribed medications (tablets, syrups, creams, lotions, ointments, etc.)
  • inhalers and spacer chambers for asthma
  • epinephrine auto-injectors and antihistamines for severe allergies
  • insulin and diabetes management equipment, if applicable
  • orthotics
  • etc.
Healthy travel with children

Add to your list other essential items or products that could help you if problems arise. Prepare a well-stocked travel health kit. Your pharmacist can help you put it together depending on your destination, plans and needs. 

It may be a good idea to review certain concepts before leaving if one of your children has an illness that requires special care. For example, if they have a severe allergy, review how to use their epinephrine auto-injector. Similarly, if they have diabetes and need to be injected with or need to receive glucagon nasal powder in the event of severe hypoglycemia. In addition to reading the instructions carefully, you can also watch the video provided by the manufacturer on their website.

Check the expiration date of each product you will be taking with you, and replace the product before you leave if it has expired. Additionally, to ensure the full effectiveness of all medications, keep them within the recommended temperature range during transport and for the duration of the trip.

If your children are taking multiple medications, ask your pharmacist to provide an up-to-date list. It is important that medications be identified with the child's name; leave them in the containers with the pharmacy labels. Keep the medication with you and not in the baggage compartment if you are flying or taking the train.

Preventive measures

You can reduce your exposure to certain risks through prevention when travelling. Here are some tips to help you do just that.

  • Apply protective measures against sunburn and heatstroke. Take enough sunscreen with you so you don't run out (it should be applied generously, so estimate the amount carefully). Also, avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water
  • Pack a mosquito repellent to prevent insect bites such as mosquitoes and ticks.
  • Take the necessary measures to avoid the inconvenience of food poisoning.
  • Bring what you need to treat a minor wound such as a scrape, cut or burn and prevent infection.
  • Be careful when doing activities that could result in a head injury. Remember to bring a protective helmet.
  • Carry an antiseptic gel to use as needed
Healthy travel with children - Motion sickness

Classic ailments

It's difficult, if not impossible, to predict what might happen when you travel, but there are some "classics". Here are some of them. For more information about them, click on the link.

  • Seasonal allergies. This is the most common health issue during the summer months, especially for children.
  • Motion sickness. Children are more affected by it, but fortunately, it can be prevented and the symptoms relieved.
  • Travellers' diarrhea. The risk of getting it is greater in certain destinations. Your pharmacist can give you advice on prevention and prescribe a treatment, just in case.
  • Digestive problems. A change in eating habits and many other factors can affect digestion and cause symptoms such as stomach upset, constipation or diarrhea.
  • Swimming-related infections. Two good examples are swimmer's ear and blue-green algae-related infections.

You have no control over factors such as the weather or unexpected delays during travel. However, adequate preparation allows you to reduce the impact on your children's health. This will minimize sources of stress and ensure your children's (and your own) happiness throughout your family adventure!

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Healthy travel with children

Travelling with young children can quickly become a source of concern rather than a fun occasion. However, by preparing adequately and anticipating potential problems, you can preserve your children's health and ensure to spend some great family time together!
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