Summertime is usually the time of the year that parents like to go out on vacation with their kids, and most of the time the kids are overjoyed to get out of the house. When you are traveling with your kids, there are a lot of different things you need to consider, such as how to make sure your kid stays healthy during the trip. Here are 10 summer travel health tips for kids that every parent needs to think about before going on that summer trip.
Check For Immunizations Your Kid Might Need
Before you go on a summer vacation with your kid, you need to check to make sure that they won’t need any special immunizations beforehand. If you are traveling out of the county, chances are both you and your kid will need special immunizations, especially if there are specific threats in that country. It is always a good idea to take your kid to the pediatrician before you leave anyways, just to make sure your kid is okay, and while you are there you should ask about any shots that might be important to keep your kid safe. Obviously, making sure your kid has the right immunizations before leaving on a trip is crucial to keeping them healthy, and it mitigates the risk of your kid catching a disease.
Get All Medications Refilled Beforehand
A lot of kids require various medications such as inhalers and Ritalin, so make sure you think ahead and get those items refilled before you leave. If the pharmacy is giving you issues about refilling early, ask the doctor to write a prescription for the length of the trip, so that you aren’t going without those medications or possibly running out early. Most doctors are okay with giving you enough medications to make sure you don’t run out on your trip, and this is important because you never know what might happen. Plus, depending on where you are going, there might not be a pharmacy that you use anywhere nearby, so just plan ahead and get refills about five days before you leave. If your kid runs out of important medications on the trip, then it could have deadly consequences, and might lead to you coming home early.
Gather Phone Numbers to Doctors and Relatives
One thing a lot of parents seem to forget about is writing down the number to the pediatrician before you leave on summer vacation. Kids are prone to getting sick and possibly breaking a leg or arm, so you want to be prepared just in case an accident does happen. Write down the number of the pediatrician and any specialists that your kid sees, and keep this folded up in your wallet for emergency situations. You should also include a few relatives on that list, so that if you need support, they are just one phone call away. You may also want to write down the phone numbers and addresses of some hospitals nearby where you will be going, so if something does happen to your kid on the trip you can quickly get them needed medical attention. When emergencies happen, it’s often without warning, and you just want to have all the information you need to be prepared.
One thing that kids are notorious for is not drinking enough water, or any liquid for that matter. While you are on summer vacation, you need to make sure that your kid is drinking enough fluids so that dehydration doesn’t happen. Dehydration only takes a short amount of time if you are in the sun, so you have to stay on your kid about drinking water or juice throughout the day. You might consider buying something cool they like to drink that doesn’t contain too much sugar, such as some flavored water. Kids often get so busy with playing and riding rides or whatever they just forget when they are thirsty, so it is your job as a parent to remind them often about the importance of staying hydrated.
Never Let Your Kid Swim Alone
It might seem like common sense, but you do have to keep an eye on your kid while swimming or near water, because it might save their life. Parents might think it’s okay if the kid just goes out in the hotel pool while they are busy doing something, but parents should never rely on the possibility of a lifeguard being on duty anywhere. If you have more than one kid on the trip, never put that responsibility on the other kid either, because kids don’t know what to do if something was to happen. Even just leaving your kid in the pool alone for one minute is more than enough time for your kid to swallow water and drown, so always be in the pool with your kid at all times or be right by the edge of the pool just in case you need to jump in to help your kid. If you fail to do this, your kid could end up brain damaged from a fall or near drowning, and could possibly end up dead.
Pack Extra Socks and Clothes
One thing parents might not think about when packing for the trip is remembering more is better, especially when it comes to socks and clothes for the kid. During summer vacations, it is likely your kid will get wet or sweaty, and this can create health problems if those same clothes are worn all day. Sweaty or wet socks can lead to bruising or wounds on the feet, so you want to pack extra socks to change into when this happens. If you are around water, you will need extra clothes for your kid, because walking around in wet clothes can cause hypothermia, and can lead to your kid becoming sick. In these situations, it is always better to be a little too cautious, especially if you are going somewhere where water is prevalent.
Never Leave Your Kid in the Car
This is a huge issue that I personally hear about every year, which is a parent leaving their kid in the car during the summer, and the kid dying due to heat exposure. It gets so hot in cars that even two minutes in a hot car is long enough to cause death, especially for vulnerable groups like kids. It might be a pain to get your kid out of the car when they are sleeping if you are just stopping to use the bathroom, but you have to make sure they are not left in a hot car alone. You should never leave a kid in a car because the health risks are just too great. A car is known to get well over 150 degrees during the summer, and for any person this can be fatal, but especially to a kid that don’t know how to get out of the situation. Even after all the deaths on the news, leaving kids in the car is still something parents do, and you are really just pressing your luck by doing this, because all it takes is a minute for the damage to be done.
Sun Screen is a Must
Even when you are traveling in a car you can get sunburned, so you want to make sure your kid is protected by wearing sunscreen at all times. Sunscreen is essential for a kid because they are more likely to develop sunburn, since usually kids are out running around swimming or playing. You want to keep your kid safe from the damaging sun rays, and also keep them from experiencing the pain of sunburn if possible. Whether your kid is in a car, swimming, biking, or playing on a swing set, you need to apply sunscreen pretty much everywhere. Obviously, it is important to protect your kid from the sunburn, and also protect them from skin damage or possibly from getting skin cancer. If you don’t know how much sunscreen you will need, just bring all of them on the trip, because you can never have too much sunscreen handy.
Don’t Let Your Kid Run Wild
One thing that kids seem to do on vacation is run wild, meaning they will push the boundaries of acceptable behavior in certain situations. One thing you need to do as a parent is make sure that your kid is minding no matter where you are, and make sure they are walking when they should be and not running. If you let your kid literally run wild, there is a high chance they will fall and get hurt, which can lead to scrapes and bruises, and possibly even broken bones. If you are somewhere out in public, make sure that your kid is acting appropriately, because running around causes accidents, and could cause someone else to get hurt as well. Kids think that because they are not home they don’t have to follow the same rules, such as no running indoors, so you have to remind them sternly that the same rules apply on your vacation as they do at home.
Never Let Your Kid Drink Lake or Ocean Water
As a kid, it might be natural to just want to drink whatever type of water you might be swimming in, but this can actually be a deadly decision. Lakes, oceans, rivers, and creeks all have fairly nasty water in them, and there is bacteria in this water that can cause your kid to become very sick. You might not even think about it, but you need to tell your kid to always immediately spit out any water they ingest during their trip. You want to repeat over and over that they should never swallow water from these areas because the water contains chemicals, bacteria, and germs, and it is very different from drinking water. You hear about brain-eating amoebas and all sorts of nasty diseases that you can get from certain sources of water, so it is about keeping your kid healthy and safe.