Feb 22, 2017 Post By: Children's Health

Your travel Checklist – Trip tips for a healthy, safe vacation
Learn about items that should always be on your vacation checklist for travel with kids.

If you’re planning a vacation trip with your family, making sure that you have what you need to address your child’s health care needs can be easier than you think. And it can help you avoid a headache of your own during a time that is meant for rest relaxation.

Keep a contact list nearby

  • Have your pediatrician’s phone number close-at-hand. And alert them of your travel plans in case he or she needs to call in an emergency prescription or need to provide information to another provider.
  • Before you travel, research to locate the closest 24-hour pharmacy and hospitals to your destination incase your child needs immediate medical treatment (asthma attack, allergic reaction, etc.) during your trip.

Pack the right medicines

Make sure that any prescription medications your child takes is up-to-date and packed. But also keep in mind some of these other medications that might come in handy during your trip:

  • Children’s or infants’ acetaminophen or ibuprofen – These fever- and pain-relievers can help a little one with a headache or aches from a cold, as the grandparents may only have adult versions around.
  • Antihistamines (topical or oral) – Topical creams, as recommended by your doctor, can help soothe the itch that comes with bug bites, hives or mild allergic reactions. Children’s doses or oral antihistamines can help if seasonal allergies act up in another state.
  • Children’s upset stomach relievers – Antacid, anti-gas and anti-nausea formulas for kids can bring some relief for little ones suffering from a stomach virus or motion sickness when traveling. It’s also a good idea to bring along an oral hydration solution (with electrolytes) so your child doesn’t get dehydrated from vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Children’s cough and cold medicine -- Bring children’s cold medicine along on your vacation (especially during cold and flu season) to reduce any coughing and sniffles that could make your kid miserable.

First Aid

  • Infant or child thermometers – If your little one has the chills, it might be the seasonal breeze, or it may be a fever. Find out for sure by carrying one of these with you.
  • Adhesive bandages and antiseptic ointment – Again, most of your friends and relatives probably have these on hand, but if only a favorite superhero or princess bandage will soothe your child’s cuts or scrapes, make sure you pack them. Antiseptic ointments can also stop little cuts from turning into big infections.
  • Cotton balls and swabs – For cleaning up cuts and scrapes or dabbing some dried sweet potatoes off your baby’s eyebrow, these are a must-have for family travel.
  • Tweezers and a needle – Splinters can spoil any child’s merrymaking, so be ready with these to quickly dislodge any painful invaders.
  • Diaper rash ointment – You’ve packed the diapers, so make sure this comes along in your diaper bag, too. Twinkly lights and cheery music won’t distract your baby from a sore bottom.
  • Blister pads – Those new winter boots were irresistibly cute, but now your child is complaining that her heels hurt. Come to the rescue with these stick-on cushions.

A few tips for flying

If you’re traveling by plane, your child’s prescription medications will pass through airport security. To make this process easier:

  • Ask security agents to visually inspect and declare all medications.
  • Put medications and equipment – such as insulin syringes – in a separate bag so they’re easier to find.
  • Properly label all medications.
  • Make sure emergency medications and supplies – as well as those scheduled for dosage during your flight – are in your carry-on bag.
  • Bring the original prescription or a physician’s note if necessary.

And don’t forget…

  • Tissues – It’s a good idea to bring plenty of these on the road (or in the air, if traveling by plane), even though your holiday hosts can probably provide them. From viruses to allergies to cold-weather sniffles, having tissues will come in handy.
  • Nasal aspirator for baby – Sure, it’s not the most pleasant thing you’ll do on your trip, but babies can’t blow their noses, and older relatives you visit won’t have these at home.
  • Antibacterial gel – You’ve taught your child to wash his or her hands after going to the bathroom or playing outside and before meals, but that’s not always possible if a sticky situation arises on the road. For waterless hand-washing that kills just as many germs, keep antibacterial gel easily accessible.
  • Sunscreen – If you’re going to be outside, keep your little ones’ skin safe from harmful rays. Sunburns can happen even when it’s cloudy and cold. It might be wise to pack some aloe or sun-soothing cream in case you miss a spot.
  • Teething aids (rings, numbing gel, etc.) – If you’re visiting relatives, they’ll be happy to see your family, but they’re a little less excited about sleepless nights filled with crying. Pack these to soothe your baby’s sore gums.

Since many over-the-counter medications can be fatal to children in large doses, keep curious little ones out of harm’s way by locking your travel health kit in the trunk or by keeping it well out of reach of curious explorers.

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