Family vacations require some planning, beyond choosing a hotel and booking airline tickets. Many times, you must plan to stay healthy. Whether you’ve decided to fly or have your heart set on a road trip, your family may come in contact with unwanted bugs, viruses and even critters. Before you pack the first beach towel, hold a family meeting or at least talk with your spouse about these tips for summer travel with children. Knowing how to prep for summer vacation could keep everyone feeling great.
Talk about potty breaks. Okay, there’s really no way you can avoid using a public restroom on a long distance trip. When you’ve got kids, even short distance trips can require multiple trips to the bathroom. Teach your kids to keep their hands in their pockets when in the public restroom. The less surfaces they touch, the better.
Banish biting bugs. Planning a trip to a park? Pack the insect repellent or at know where you can some purchase some when you arrive at your destination. Your children need protection from fleas, mosquitoes and anything else that might want to take a bite.
Do tick checks. Your vacation to the Great Outdoors shouldn’t end with a trip to the hospital. Before bath time, do a tick check on everyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, ticks carry some brutal illnesses that can make you sick and even take your life. Check for ticks in your hair, upper legs, and waist and around your navel. Always use tweezers (so do pack some) to remove tick, never your fingers.
Say not to food poisoning. You’ll want to sample the local fare but don’t forget that food-borne illnesses can’t be seen with the naked eye. Anytime you eat out, you and your family run the risk of encountering sickening illnesses like E.coli, Listeria and Salmonella, just to name a few. However, you can be smart about your food choices. Avoid foods containing mayonnaise or eggs. Look at health ratings first. They must be posted where you can see them in all cities of the US. Also, if it doesn’t pass the smell taste or tastes funny, skip it.
Stock up on safe hand sanitizers. Who knew that hand sanitizers could be toxic? If they contain triclosan, they can be. That’s a shame because they truly are so convenient when traveling with kids. Opt for the healthier versions or try baby wipes for quick clean ups.
Pack copies of your insurance cards. Make copies of the front and back of your cards and jot down a list of all your physicians with phone numbers. Storing them in your phone won’t help if your phone gets lost or stolen. Also, write down the names of any medications your children have been prescribed. Sometimes the TSA wants to see written proof of prescriptions when flying internationally. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Stay sun safe. Summer vacation comes with a lot of sun but that’s no reason to hide out in the hotel. Everyone gets a hat, sunglasses and of course sunscreen. Teach kids how to spray themselves and talk about how often they should reapply sunscreen.
Do a check of immunization requirements. Some destinations require additional shots for protection. Do visit the CDC for updates on health advisories and immunization recommendations and requirements.
Insist that everyone gets plenty of rest. Healthy bodies are well rested. You may be tempted to run, run, run on your vacation but do take out some time for rest. Insist that kids get naps, if they are old enough to require them. Sleeplessness and stress affect everyone, including children.
Opt for bottled water. You never know what’s lurking in the local water supply. When traveling, offer kids bottled water rather than water from the hotel tap. It’s safer and could keep everyone a bit healthier.