When travelling with children it is important to plan ahead. Firstly, make sure that if you are going to a hotel or resort that they are used to having children. When arriving at the hotel, resort, a cottage or even a friend’s or relative’s s house, make sure that the place is “child-safe”. Do not take for granted that where you are going will be as “child friendly” as your home. Make sure your child is not exposed to hotel room hazards including: “in-room” hot tubs or Jacuzzis, hanging curtain cords, wires, open plugs and the hotel room “minibar”. Also check that the hot water from the bath and other faucets is not too hot.
- Before going on trip make sure that you know where the local medical clinics are in case of a medical emergency. It is always a good idea to bring along a first aid kit containing bandages, tweezers, antibiotic cream, sun-screen, calamine lotion and acetaminophen.
- If your child has a chronic medical problem such as asthma or diabetes, make sure that you discuss your travel plans with your child’s pediatrician and that you know where to go in case of need of medical care. It’s a good idea to bring along a summary sheet of your child’s medical history including a list of medications. Bring along enough medication that will last the trip’s duration. If travelling by air, pack the medications in a carry-on bag rather than in the checked luggage.
- Remember that it will take longer to drive to your destination with children as compared to driving the same distance alone or just with adults. Make sure that you plan this extra time into your schedule. Bringing along distractions such as toys, books and games to keep the kids busy during the trip is a good idea. Also, expect to make frequent stops, for bathrooms, stretching or just getting fresh air.
- If your child gets car sick, discuss this with your doctor as there are some medications that may prevent this. Additionally, there some other things you can do which can help prevent or reduce car sickness: try to drive at a constant speed (rather than frequent speed changes), give your child light snacks instead of heavy meals and keep the window a bit opened to circulate some outside air.
- When travelling by plane with young children, ask your airline to make arrangements to accommodate your child in a car seat. Many children have been injured while sitting on their parents’ laps in planes during turbulence. Depending on the time of year and whether the flight is fully booked, certain airlines may not charge you for the seat.
Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.