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Health Advice

How to stay healthy

Bugs, bite and bowels: Travelling with the family should be an exciting experience. But we must also remember that health and safety while travelling is important. There are some important things you need to consider before and during your travels.

Vaccinations and Malaria

Always visit your GP several months before you travel, on any vaccinations you or your baby may need. Your child should already be up to date on their immunisations from the UK government programme. But they may need additional vaccinations depending on the country you are travelling to.

Your GP should be able to advise you on precautions needed to protect you and your children against malaria. Young children are vulnerable to this life-threatening disease, preventative methods are crucial if travelling to a malaria zone.

You should try not to get bitten by using insect repellent and covering up in early mornings and at night, when mosquitos are most active. Malaria symptoms can be confused with the flu, so any flu like symptoms should be checked with a doctor, explaining you have been to a destination that is known to malaria.

Sunburn

Babies and toddlers are susceptible to getting sunburn. Try to avoid keeping them in the sun during the middle of the day. Always wear protection, in the form of a hat, sun glasses, sun protection swimsuits and a high factor sunscreen to face and body.

Heatstroke

Life threatening, and very common in young children who over do it with the activities in hot conditions. As a precaution, stay out of the heat during the hottest time of the day and drink plenty of fluids.

Diarrohea

Severe diarrhoea can be life threatening, especially in children under the age of three. The biggest risk to your child is dehydration. Offer water, juices and other liquids to keep up your child’s fluid intake. Better to steer clear away from water and avoid food that has been left to go cold.

Signs of Dehydration:

  • Mouth and tongue dry
  • Passing less urine then normal
  • Drowsiness and unable to drink

Severe dehydration will require being hospitalized.

Water

Drinking contaminated water can have a major effect on your health, and the cause of many serious diseases. The best method for creating safe drinking water, is to boil water for several minutes. Purchasing water filters is an effective way to kill bacteria in the water. Using bottled water is the best way of staying safe and keeping hydrated. Just make sure the seal around the bottle cap is unbroken before consuming. Avoid ice, washed vegetables and salads if you are unsure the water is safe.

Breastfeeding

Breast fed babies have no problem with foreign food. But breastfeeding mothers, need to ensure that they drink lots of fluids and eating well, this will help the milk flow. Breastfeeding is acceptable in most countries but consider packing a nursing shawl to be more discreet.

Bottle Feeding

Don’t assume your favourite brand of baby formula is readily available in the stores in the country you are visiting. If possible, pack enough to take with you from home. Remember! You will need purified water to make up the baby’s bottles. So bottled or boiled water is needed and kept refrigerated if not used within a 24-hour period. Sterilisation is important so invest in a travel steriliser that can fit in your suitcase, along with steriliser tablets.

In-flight food and drinks

It is better to feed babies during take off and landing, this will help with the cabin pressure changes. Non-spill cups for toddlers and boiled sweets for older children. Most airlines offer children’s meals if booked in advance, to make things easy, bring plenty of snacks just in case.

Travel Snacks

Having a stash of goodies to nibble on is all part of the traveling experience for any child. The opportunity to binge and pick and choose is all part of the fun. Healthy travel snacks can be bought in the supermarket in the form of cereal bars, cheese strings and lunch box size raisons.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Is it safe to fly with babies?

A: You should wait until your baby is 2 or 3 months old and is up to date on routine vaccinations, as germs can circulate on the airplane.

Q: Can I travel when pregnant?

A: The safest time to travel when pregnant is in the second trimester, so between 3 and 6 months. It is advised not to travel to malaria borne places. Pregnant women are more susceptible to blood clots, so wearing flight socks on long haul flights are a must.

Q: What if my child suffers with asthma?

A: You should understand your child’s symptoms, so be prepared to carry spare inhalers and emergency steroids. Be aware of the triggers for your child’s asthma and take all the necessary preventative measures.