Tips to Keep your Child Healthy While Traveling
There are approximately 1.9 million children that travel internationally each year. If you are one of the many adults traveling with children, you probably go great lengths to ensure their health stays in tip-top shape. As a parent, the more information you have means a better chance to ensure your child is kept healthy and safe during all of your international ventures.
Parents should take numerous steps to keep their child safe when traveling. Below are a few common travel and health risks as stated by the World Health Organization that those traveling with kids often run into that can be prepared for.
The leading cause of death among children who travel is vehicle-related accidents. Children riding in vehicles should always be secured in. Those that weight less than 40 pounds should be in an age-appropriate car seat or booster seat while those that weigh more than 40 pounds should always be buckled in with the vehicle’s safety harness.
The second leading cause of death for children that travel is due to drowning and water-related injuries and illnesses. Kids that are swimming or playing in areas that are not lifeguarded should be watched closely. Shoes that have non-slip soles are also a good idea for children that often walk on slippery surfaces.
Although diarrheal disease seems common and not quite life threatening, children with this can have severe consequences. There are about two billion cases of diarrheal disease each year, of these there are 1.5 million deaths among children. Parents traveling with their kids, especially to developing countries can use the following tips to keep their young ones from getting a diarrheal illness and risking becoming dehydrated:
- Peel fruit before consumption
- Breast feeding is a safe option for infants to reduced the risk of food or water related illness
- Ensure food is cooked thoroughly
- Be cautious of dairy products as they are sometimes diluted with untreated water
- Wash eating utensils, bottles, pacifiers and toys with potable water
A few signs of severe dehydration include sunken eyes, dry mucous membranes, a rapid yet weak pulse, lack of urination and a withdrawn behavior.
Malaria is an acute febrile illness primarily seen in tropical locations. The fast-acting disease is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito and can be fatal for babies and young children. It is important for those traveling with children to avoid endemic areas or to take the necessary precautions:
- Use a mosquito net as much as possible, especially during dusk and dawn.
- Talk with your doctor before the trip about anti-malarial drugs
Following the above tips does not guarantee individuals will not run into one of the injuries or illness listed but it does assist in the prevention. Those who are traveling with children should also always carry necessary documentation including custody documents, notarized permission letters and insurance cards. If you would like to explore your options of travel insurance for your child while traveling, contact one of our licensed agents today.