A summer vacation to another country is a wonderful experience for children. The opportunity to learn about another culture, see unforgettable sights and spend time with the family is priceless. But so is your children’s health.
An article recently published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, showed that children are much more susceptible to getting illnesses when abroad than we are as adults. So what can you do to protect them?
The most concerning aspect of the study documented in Pediatrics is that a good portion of children had not been taken to see a travel medicine specialist prior to departure. The study reports that 28% of the children experienced diarrhea, 25% came down with dermatologic conditions, 23% experienced systemic febrile illnesses and 11% suffered respiratory disorders.
The article states that “Compared with adults, children disproportionately … required hospitalization, lacked pretravel health advice, and had traveled for the purpose of visiting friends and relatives.”
Know the Risks
Preventing illness while travelling is easiest if you know what to expect and prepare accordingly. That’s why pre-travel consultations are key to protecting your children when travelling abroad.
Your travel medicine specialist is aware of which diseases are prevalent in which countries and can provide information about vaccinations as well as tips on staying healthy. Additionally, she can explain the early signs and symptoms of diseases so that you can begin treating your children right away if they do get sick.
It is important to seek advice well before your departure date because some vaccinations must be given ahead of time. Talk to your doctor as part of your vacation-planning process and have a happy, healthy trip with your family.