Traveling With Children 101: How to Keep Children Healthy During Travels — Traveling with children can either be fun or miserable. The outcome of your trip with your children highly depends on how you prepare everything in advance. On top of that, it is also your responsibility as a parent to keep your children healthy during your travels.
So, how can I keep my children healthy during travel? What should I do if my children get sick during travel? This article discusses everything you need to know to keep your children healthy when traveling with them overseas, be it for vacation or any other reasons.
Why can children easily get sick during travel?
When your children get sick while you’re traveling, you may be inclined to think that it is a sign of bad luck. But in reality, children can easily get sick due to the vast and new surfaces for children to touch and explore. As a result, children can easily get exposed to new germs during travel.
Especially during overseas travel, children are outside of their controlled environment, making them easily exposed to new germs that they haven’t encountered before. Children’s unprepared immune systems may struggle to keep the new germs from infecting their bodies. However, sick children shouldn’t be the end of your family’s trip. Just make sure that you’re prepared to face everything while traveling, including sicknesses.
Common illness for overseas travelers
Below are some of the most common illnesses caused by children’s exposure to a new environment.
1. Hand, foot, and mouth disease
This kind of illness is very common in children under five years old. Commonly highly contagious, the hand, foot, and mouth diseases are caused by enteroviruses. Some common symptoms include fever, runny nose, rashes on the hands and soles of the feet, and mouth ulcers.
2. Common cold/ respiratory infections
Respiratory infection, including COVID-19, is one of the most feared yet common illnesses that occur in children of all ages. Some common symptoms include fever, congestion, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue.
3. Gastroenteritis or stomach flu
Often confused with food poisoning, gastroenteritis commonly causes diarrhea, fever, vomiting, fatigue, and body aches. Some of the symptoms are similar to COVID-19 infections. So, if your children experienced these symptoms, contact the nearest BIMC Kuta Hospital for proper treatments.
While not caused by virus infections, sunburn can potentially ruin your plan when traveling with children. This is especially very common if you travel to tropical countries.
When is the right time to contact a doctor when traveling with children?
Even when you’re traveling with children to overseas countries, any medical care providers are willing to help you. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of them if your children experience some worrying symptoms of illness. In addition, you can go to urgent care clinic or emergency department.
Take your children to an urgent clinic if they experience the following symptoms:
- Persistent fever, even after fever-reducing medicine has been administered
- Constant vomiting
- Not urinating at least once every six hours
- Easily get tired
- Not drinking water or other liquids
On the other hand, take your children to the emergency department if the following symptoms occur:
- Having a fever for more than five days even after fever-reducing medicine has been administered.
- Has trouble breathing, especially if children tend to use their ribs and upper abdominal muscle when breathing.
- Suffers injuries, such as broken bone or physical trauma.
How to keep healthy while traveling with children
While it is impossible to prepare for every situation, there are some things that you can do to have a smooth journey with your children.
1. Stay updated with current vaccinations
Unvaccinated children possess higher risks of getting infected with more diseases. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, keep your children updated on their vaccination.
2. Practice good hand hygiene
Children navigate the world with their hands and mouth. So, practicing good hand hygiene can help reduce the risk of bacterial infections from the things your children touch.
3. Spend more time outside
Contrary to popular beliefs, being outdoors poses a lower risk of getting infected by diseases than being indoors. However, be aware of your surroundings and wear masks and protective gear while traveling.
4. Adjust your preparation based on the destination
The primary idea of this tip is that you should prepare accordingly for your travel destination. For instance, if you wish to travel to the beach, don’t forget to bring sunscreen and plenty of water to protect you and your children from getting sunburned and heat stroke.
Essentials to bring when traveling with children
Different families have different needs during travel. The following items may be a good place to start your travel essentials.
- Hand sanitizer
- Spare clothes for your children
- Small trash bags
- Over-the-counter medicines for pain relief, gas, motion sickness, and allergic reaction.
- At-home COVID-19 test kit
- First aid kits, such as bandages, ointment medications, etc.
Besides all of that, you can also bring your children’s favorite toys to keep them engaged during travel. Lastly, don’t be hesitant to contact the BIMC Kuta Hospital if your children are experiencing any illness symptoms.