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Children’s health

Children’s health
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5 tips to keep children safe while travelling

Travelling with children can be testing at the best of times. Keep them happy, healthy and safe with these top tips.

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 in case of delays. Avoid sweets unless you want to deal with the sugar rush that follows. Boredom can cause stress and tantrums so it’s important to bring things to keep kids entertained. Pack a bag with colouring books, crayons, 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

Knocks, scrapes and falls all happen with alarming regularity so when travelling with children you’ll want to be prepared for anything. Pack your own first aid kit stocked with all the essentials, including:

  • Band-aids
  • children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • antiseptic wipes
  • gauze pads
  • a thermometer
  • hand sanitiser
  • insect repellent
  • cream for bites or stings

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

3.      Sun care

Young skin is more likely to burn in the sun and children are often too busy playing to notice it happening. It’s important to apply a high SPF children’s sunscreen thoroughly and frequently throughout the day, reapplying after swimming. Hats should be worn in the sun, plenty of bottled water should be provided and children should be moved to play in 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, you’ll need to book a consultation to get the necessary shots. Some children, particularly infants, may be too young for certain vaccines, but special paediatric 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 at high risk of the disease. They are also more vulnerable than adults when it comes to malaria. If malaria is rife in the area then it’s recommended that bites are prevented with repellent and netting, and that anti-malarials are used. Specialist advice and vaccination consultations are available from Global Travel Clinics.