Courtesy of Cy-Fair Hospital
Can you believe it is already November and time to plan for the family trip for the holidays? Before you hit the road for a much-anticipated family trip, you may want to do some early planning and smart packing to make the ride less bumpy for you and your children. Whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile, these timely tips can go a long way to helping ensure a memorable vacation for everyone.
Prepare ahead of time.
Talk with your doctor at least one month before you leave about any necessary vaccinations if you will be traveling outside the United States. Some vaccines require multiple doses over a period of days or weeks and need time to become effective in your body.
Learn to adjust.
Start adjusting your family’s sleep schedule several days before leaving if you will be traveling to a destination in another time zone. Remember to drink plenty of fluids during your trip because dehydration can contribute to the effects of jet lag. Avoid caffeinated beverages. Follow local time after your arrival.
Pack all medications and other medical supplies because they may not be readily available at your destination. Remember to include inhalers, insulin, and allergy medications. Keep the bag handy. Do not check it if traveling by plane or bury it in the trunk if going by car.
Know where you’re going.
If your child has a chronic health condition, locate the closest hospital or medical care facility ahead of time. Remember to bring a copy of your child’s health history that includes blood type, immunization record, doctor’s contact information, health insurance information, and lists of health problems, current medications and allergies.
Safety comes first.
Children should travel in approved child-safety seats in the car and airplane. Bring car seats with you since proper seats may not be readily available when traveling abroad. Make sure children carry an identification card in case they become separated from their family.
Stay comfortable during the trip.
If your child experiences ear discomfort during take-off or landing, encourage them to yawn, swallow, or if they are old enough, chew gum. Motion sickness can be relieved by eating a light meal, using a headrest to minimize head movement, making frequent stops, or keeping a window slightly open to let fresh air circulate.
Drink bottled water.
Diarrhea is a common illness that can be avoided during travel by drinking only bottled water and practicing good hand-washing techniques. Other ways to prevent gastrointestinal distress include avoiding ice cubes in drinks and food from street vendors, as well as eating only properly prepared foods.
For more information about traveling with children, as well as many other health topics, visit the “Health Resources” section on www.CyFairHospital.com.