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Children’s health

Children’s health
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5 tips to keep your children healthy and happy while travelling

Travelling with children can be… an experience. Make it a positive one, for you and them, and you will give them memories that last a lifetime. Our five tips will help you make those memories great.

1.       Be prepared

As any parents knows, small children need an almost constant supply of snacks and drinks. Prepare not only for the time you’re expecting to spend travelling but also for delays. Avoid sweets unless you want to deal with a blood sugar crash. Boredom can cause stress and whining so it’s important to bring things to keep kids entertained. Good items that are easy to carry include: colouring books and crayons; quiet games and a couple of mystery presents for them to unwrap during the journey. With small children, invest in a child’s ID wristband in case you get separated. Travelling with children requires a lot of planning ahead: read Rough Guide’s article for more tips.

2.       First aid kit

Because children are still developing neurologically and are always growing, they are prone to knocks, scrapes and falls. When travelling with children you’ll want to be prepared for anything and everything. A first aid kit stocked with all the essentials will make your life much easier. Recommended items include:

  • plasters
  • children’s paracetamol or ibuprofen sachets
  • antiseptic wipes
  • cotton pads
  • a thermometer
  • hand sanitizer
  • insect repellent
  • cream for bites or stings

Don’t forget any prescription medication they might need for existing medical conditions.

3.       Sun care

Children’s skin is more prone to sunburn, and children are often too busy playing to notice it happening. Slop on plenty of high SPF children’s sunscreen throughout the day, reapplying after swimming. Hats should be worn in the sun, offer plenty of safe water and move them into the shade at the hottest time of day. Sunburn and sunstroke can be lethal in young children so put every effort into protecting them.

4.       Vulnerable tummies

Children are more vulnerable to food- and water-borne diseases. While it’s vital they remain hydrated, especially during flights and in hot climates, make sure the water they consume is safe. When it comes to food, be certain what they are eating is cooked thoroughly and is piping hot when served. Avoid food that has been kept warm and be cautious when it comes to fish and shellfish. Seek medical help if a child shows any symptoms.

5.       Pediatric shots

If vaccinations are recommended for the area, book a consultation with a travel health nurse to get the necessary shots. Some children, particularly infants, may be too young for certain vaccines but special pediatric shots are available for hepatitis A and B. As it’s quite common for children to be the victims of animal bites, rabies shots are recommended for countries with a high risk of the disease. Children are also more vulnerable than adults when it comes to malaria. If malaria is rife in the area then you should protect your children from bites with repellent and netting, and give them anti-malarials, too. Specialist advice and vaccination consultations are available from Canadian Travel Clinics.