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Travel vaccines for children

Travel vaccines for children
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What shots will my children need when we go away?

So many family memories are made on holiday – and a good travel health regime will ensure that your children enjoy their vacation and come home with (mostly) happy memories, a few choice souvenirs and no nasty bugs. If you’ve got a summer break planned, we recommend you check in at a travel health clinic now. You should see your travel health adviser at least six weeks before you leave because some travel vaccines need to be given in several spaced doses.

How do I work out what vaccines my children will need?

You can check our destination guides to get a rough idea of what shots might be recommended to you. Your children’s health records will tell you which vaccines they have already had under the normal Canadian childhood vaccination schedule. These usually include:

  • tetanus
  • diphtheria
  • polio
  • pertussis
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • meningococcal meningitis

Some children may also be vaccinated against hepatitis B. Read more about provincial and territorial vaccination programs with the Government of Canada.

When you come for your travel health appointment at Canadian Travel Clinics’ Downtown Calgary branch one of our nurse advisers will make specific recommendations based on where you are going and what activities you have planned.

They may recommend your children receive the rabies vaccine if you are travelling somewhere where rabies is endemic, particularly if you are staying with family or going to a remote rural area.

Vaccination against hepatitis A may be recommended for child travellers because it can be difficult for them to comply with food and water precautions, particularly if they are very little.

What other steps should I take to protect my family’s health?

Apart from ensuring your children have the recommended shots, one of the best things you can do to protect their health is to look after their skin in the sun. Children’s skin is more delicate than adult’s skin and they are more prone to sunburn. Keep them in the shade where possible, use a good sunscreen and encourage them to cover up with hats and shirts.

You should also protect your little ones from insect bites. Mosquito and tick bites can be unpleasant in themselves, but these insects also carry a number of unpleasant diseases. Be aware of what insects may cause problems at your destination, and use an insect repellent. Check that your accommodation has nets, screens, or (best of all) air conditioned rooms so you can shut the windows at night.

Read our advice article on children’s travel health for more tips, or ask your travel health adviser.

Where can I get travel vaccinations in Calgary?

If you need an appointment at a travel clinic in Calgary, turn to Canadian Travel Clinics. It is quick and easy to book online or call 1 888 672 0005 to book by phone. Back-to-back appointments are available if you are planning a longer trip with several stops – and also if you want our advisers to see several members of your family at once.