Travelling with children – 8 Hidden dangers your child may face

An appointment with the doctor is just as important for your children if they are travelling overseas.  Just like adults, children are at risk of travel related infections, medical problems and injury.

 Below is a list of helpful tips to help keep your child safe on your next trip

  1. Some travel related diseases /problems are more severe in children than in adults. Malaria for instance  has a higher chance of severe illness/ fatality in children. Another good example is young children travelling at altitude. They are difficult to assess for acute mountain sickness. Prior to finalising your travel plans talk to your doctor about risks of your intended travel.
  2. The most important vaccines for children prior to travel are their routine childhood vaccines. Some vaccines such as the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine should be given at an earlier age than usual in the event of international travel so please consult your doctor for advice. Most travel vaccines and medications can be given to children so ask your doctor for specific recommendations about what is required for your trip at least 6 weeks prior to leaving.
  3. At the airport /in crowded places consider dressing them in bright clothes so they stand out and can’t be lost.
  4. During the flight earache can occur due to pressure changes in the plane. Depending on the age of your child encourage feeding babies, sucking lollies or swallowing during take-off and especially during landing.
  5. Young children have a higher risk of dehydration if they become unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting. See the blog “Oh dear its diarrhoea” for tips on reducing the risk of diarrhoea but also please take and use rehydration salts in clean water early in the event of vomiting and/or diarrhoea to reduce their risk of dehydration. Speak with your doctor about how to manage your child if they develop gastroenteritis and other medications/vaccines that can be used.
  6. Children have a higher risk of animal bites and consequently rabies than adults. Educate children to avoid touching animals. In the event a scratch/bite occurs tell children they need to inform their parents immediately so that emergency first aid and treatment can be initiated. (see “Rabies Blog” for further information regarding vaccination and treatments)
  7. Children frequently get bitten by mosquitoes and other insects. Both DEET and picaridin repellant are safe to use on children from 2months of age. The maximum concentration of DEET that is recommended for children is 30%. View our blog on “8 tips to reduce your chance of mosquito borne diseases
  8. Take a medical kit containing items such as paracetamol, a thermometer, anti-itching lotion, oral rehydration salts, dressings, sunscreen, antiseptic and an antihistamine. Be aware that certain medications such as medications for ADHD may not be allowed in foreign countries. Talk to your doctor about getting a letter detailing what medication you will be carrying for your child.

Disclaimer: The information on the Shepparton Travel Clinic website has been prepared for general information purpose only. It is not intended to be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice. No person should act, fail to act, disregard professional medical advice, or delay seeking professional medical advice on the basis of this material. Shepparton Travel Clinic does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any of this information and will not be liable for any loss, damage or injury directly or indirectly caused by this material or its use.