Summer is approaching fast, which means school will be letting out soon. If you’re planning on traveling in the summer heat, here are 10 health tips for kids.
- Sunscreen: Whether you’re kids are at the beach, playing in the water, or just going out for a short amount of time, sunscreen is one of the most important things to remember. When buying sunscreen, make sure it’s at least SPF 15 and waterproof. Kids sweat a lot in the summer and you don’t want the sunscreen wearing off due to sweat. The recommend age for babies wearing sunscreen is 6 months, and if any younger, an umbrella and a hat will do just fine.
- Hydration: I can’t stress this enough. The summer heat is brutal on anyone, but more so on children. Make sure you have enough water for the entire family, and then some for when you run out. Don’t leave the bottled water in the car because then it gets warm and reacts with the chemicals in the plastic of the bottle which releases dioxin into the water.
- Shoes: I know those little cute shoes you just bought for your kids are too hard to resist. But when traveling, try to avoid shoes that are uncomfortable for your child. Bring walking shoes and another extra pair of shoes for just in case.
- Healthy eating: I know a lot of kids enjoy nuggets from McDonald’s or possibly even from Wendy’s. But when traveling, it’s best to pack healthy food and snacks for your kids to munch on. It might e tempting to stop and just get fast food, but consuming junk food(that includes fast food chains) can slow a child down. Pack fruits and veggies(such as carrots and such.) And if your child isn’t too big on certain vegetables, pack a little ranch dressing in a separate container and put it in a cooler box. It gives it a little taste, distracting kids from being disgusted and or turned off by veggies.
- Info: When traveling, it’s best to have your kids information with them at all times, so just in case they get lost(God forbid!), they know who to call, or if someone finds them, that person knows how to get in touch with you. This includes phone numbers, your child’s age, emergency phone numbers(such as 911), and relatives phone number’s, too.
- Stranger Danger: Do remind your kids not to talk to strangers or take anything a stranger offers them. Make sure you come up with a “safe word” that only you, your husband, and your child knows. That way, if a stranger walks up to your child and asks them to come with them(for whatever reason), that your child can ask for safe word to confirm that you or your husband sent that person. Remember it’s important to also tell your child not to go anywhere with a stranger and if a stranger touches them or tries to take them, to scream as loud as they can and then to run.
- Air / Sea Sickness: Very common when traveling in air or by boat. There are OTC medications your child can take if they start to feel nauseated or dizzy, such as: Scopolamine(this OTC med can relive motion sickness for up to 3 days. Kids under the age of 10 should not take this.), Dimenhydrinate(Also known as Dramamine, can last up to 6-8 hours. This can be taken by kids age 2 and older), and Cyclizin(This can last up to 4-6 hours and can be taken by kids over the age of 5).
- Food Poisoning: Meats that or pink or uncooked, should not be eaten. This can cause food poisoning and dehydration. Before traveling to a place, read up on the foods that you might encounter, certain foods can be undercooked, not cleaned properly, or contaminated by germs that can make your little one(and also you) very sick.
- Water Poisoning: For a good bit of my childhood, I lived over seas and I always remembered hearing people say that the water wasn’t clean enough to drink. Therefore; making people sick. If you’re traveling aboard, make sure to boil your water for 1 minute and then put it into a container to chill in the fridge, before drinking it. This kills every living thing that could possibly be in the water.
- Jet Lag: The change in time can throw a child’s body off it’s clock, causing the child to be dehydrated, tired, irritability, and more. Though adults suffer from jet lag more so than children, kids can still suffer from it. To help with this, make sure to adjust to the time zone as soon as you land. Set your watches to the time zone and try to get some rest, if it’s nighttime. A book or movie can help a child fall asleep faster. Avoiding naps the next day is also good, so that the child can get back on schedule.
Those are my ten health tips for kids when traveling. Talk to your kids before traveling and remind them the importance of health when traveling aboard.