The holidays are here. Are planning to travel with your little one?
Travelling with your child is a chance to make memories for a lifetime.
But if you are like most parents of little ones – you probably hesitate before you plan a trip with your child /children. The reason in almost every case is that you are afraid that your child will fall sick on the trip and ruin everything.
There is no doubt that staying healthy when you travel with your kids is difficult. But what is important to know is that – if you are aware of some basic facts about children’s health – it is certainly not impossible to stay healthy when you travel with your kids
10 things you can do to keep your child healthy when you travel this summer
- Do not plan a very hectic schedule with children – The most important thing to remember when planning a trip with children is – to ensure that you do not plan a very ambitious trip with too much agenda. Children need time to run around aimlessly and sit around doing nothing. And of course need lots of time to sleep. The ideal trip with children therefore is a trip to destination that does not involve too much travelling. And one in which you schedule a lot of time for just lazing around.
- Do not compromise on your child’s sleep – If your child does not sleep enough – you can be sure he/she will soon fall sick. To avoid this – avoid long international flights. Avoid flights /trains/ buses that depart too early in the morning or too late in the night. Avoid excessively long road trips – or take frequent rejuvenation breaks. Plan measured sight-seeing – do not try to see everything. When with kids it is a bad idea to stay out from sunrise to sunset.
- Do not plan long road trips – Road trips are fun for adults who are able to take in the scenes as the fly by. They are not fun for children who need much longer to absorb things. As a result children get bored when they have to travel for long hours. If you do need to travel by road – take frequent breaks and during the break allow your child to run around and scream and shout. Do not impose too many restrictions during the break so that your child can get the physical and emotional freedom he/she needs to prepare for the next bout of being confined in the car.
- Never make your child wait for the toilet for too long while travelling. Children have smaller urinary bladders and poor control over their impulse to pass urine or stool. Travel plans that do not cater for frequent toilet breaks can result in accidents. They can also result in children drinking less water so that they do not need to go to the washroom. Which can then result in cranky behaviour due to dehydration. Drinking too little water or holding on for too long to go to the toilet can also result in urinary infections.
- Take a day or two to rest in a new place before you go sightseeing Children do not have very efficient heat control system in their bodies. It takes longer for children to get used to the heat than adults. If you are travelling to a hotter place give your body a day or two to get used to the heat. If you go out to the beach watch out for dehydration, sunburn, exhaustion and heat stroke.
- Drink lots of water – Dehydration is a common occurrence in the summers and especially so in children because they forget to drink water unless reminded. Always make sure the water is purified Read Dehydration in Children and Babies. Facts Signs and Treatment
- Eat Healthy – When you are travelling it may be tempting to try out local cuisine and street food but do try to eat healthy meals nevertheless. Always eat a wholesome breakfast. Never forget to carry snacks when you are sightseeing. Always include enough fruits and vegetables that contain fiber in the meals to avoid stomach problems Read What to feed your child to keep him healthy
- Take precautions with regard to health – Carry some medicines that you may require in an emergency. Ask your doctor for a prescription before you leave and check the dose you may have to give before you leave to avoid panicky calls back home to friends and family if your child falls sick. Ensure that your child has taken appropriate vaccines that are recommended for the place you are travelling to. Make sure your child washes hands frequently because that is the easiest way to stay healthy
- Check water safety and hygiene before swimming – If you swim – remember to check the water for safety and cleanliness before you allow your child into it. Read 10 Swimming Pool Safety Tips for Kids in Summer: Read Before you Dive
- Plan activities keeping your child’s age in mind – Even if children do not actually fall sick – they can get very cranky if they are made to do things that are not interesting for them – or if they are made to do too many things in a day. Remember that what your child needs most is your relaxed vibe and uninterrupted time to bond with you. Make sure – that is on the top of your list when you make a plan.
Stay safe – stay healthy and have lots of fun