Travel Safety and Staying Healthy

While fun is the order of the day on vacation, health and safety must be considered. Carry your health insurance information with you at all times and know how to navigate your insurance company in an emergency. Even if your child does not have any medical needs it is a good idea to have your pediatrician to recommend a doctor or facility near your vacation spot.

Diarrhea, constipation and colds are common problems when travelling with children. Adequate sleep and nutrition are important for keeping kids healthy away from home, so allow for rest and healthy eating during your adventures. Also, try to keep your schedule in tune with your childrens eating, sleeping and bathroom habits to avoid illness or discomfort.

No matter how much you prepare, accidents large and small can happen. CPR training is something every parent should have anyway, so if you are not certified call the Red Cross today. Children should also know how to act in an emergency, such as calling 911 or a relative. A first-aid kit is essential for treating minor injuries and ailments on your journey. A good first-aid kit can fit in an old lunchbox or utililty box and should include: bandages, antiseptic cream (such as Neosporin), safety pins/needles, tweezers, gauze pads, sunscreen, children's aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers, thermometer, alcohol swabs, insect repellent, first-aid tape, rubber surgical gloves, instant ice pack, over the counter medications for diarrhea, colds, motion sickness, etc. List of physicians, prescriptions, etc., zipper plastic bags, first-aid book.

If you are travelling with a child under 2, plan plenty of extra time for feeding, changing, etc. You will also want to bring: extra diapers and baby wipes, diaper rash ointment, pacifiers, baby food/ formula, bibs, waterproof sheet, blanket, plastic grocery bags for soiled clothing.

For international, exotic or adventure trips it is a good idea for all family members to have physical and dental exams before leaving. If you are travelling to a foreign country check with the CDC to find out about travel conditions and be sure to have a list of English speaking doctors. Carry adequate supplies of prescription medication and an extra prescription in case of an emergency. Be certain you and your children have all the necessary immunizations and boosters well before you leave.

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