Travelling with children can be really fun mostly if it is for leisure and/or family vacation. It is usually a bonding period where the parents get to relax and enjoy quality time with their children.

However, regardless of the purpose of the trip, parents need to be constantly reminded about the degree of health risks faced by children when they travel especially to new and relatively strange places. A research by the CDC maintains that children face the same health risks as their parents and the consequences are usually more severe in them.

In light of this, parents with plans to visit other countries with their children are advised to be familiar with possible health risks so as to help them to prepare in the best way possible for safety. Some of the potential health risks are addressed below:

  • Diarrhea

Diarrhea is usually caused by exposure to unhealthy/contaminated food and water and it is very common in children. Thankfully, this can be prevented in a lot of ways and parents need to constantly be on the lookout to ensure that the health and safety practices are followed by their children. Diarrhea can be prevented in infants by breastfeeding. In the same vein, older children can prevent this by practicing the simple food and water safety precautions which includes staying away from raw food, washing and peeling of fruits before consumption, drinking of treated/boiled water and regular washing of hands.

However, in cases of infection, the best treatment for children is to give plenty of fluids. Oral dehydration salts can also be used to counter dehydration and in serious cases, parents should seek urgent medical attention.

  • Malaria

When travelling to countries with high malaria risk, parents should ensure that their children use malaria preventing drugs. Also, children must try as much as possible to avoid insect and bug bites. For more adequate protection, Permethrin should be applied to their clothes and they should be made to sleep under treated and screened nets.

  • Rabies

Research has shown that this is more common in children than adults because little ones tend to be more affectionate towards strange pets. In staying safe, they should be instructed to stay away from animals and should also inform an adult should they get bitten. All bite wounds must be proper washed and medical help sought quickly.

  • Accidents

When on a trip, car crashes and drowning are key causes of death in children. Children should be made to ride in age appropriate seats with belts on trips. Also, when around water, children should be supervised and must wear a life preserver or jacket.

  • Routine and travel vaccine

All routine childhood vaccines must be completed as early as possible prior to travelling abroad.

It is our desire that children remain healthy and safe at all-time including on family vacations. Therefore, in order to fully maximise the time and have all the fun there is on a trip, parents should take necessary precautions.

Also, it is advised that parents should secure quality medical evacuation cover plans for themselves and their children before going on trips.

The Flying Doctors Air Ambulance Service

The Flying Doctors Nigeria is a leading air ambulance company covering West and Central Africa. For patients that have overwhelmed the level of care available in their local environment, air ambulances are essential for transferring these patients to better levels of care.

We also offer medical evacuation plans which provide medical evacuation and treatment in the event of an emergency for a small yearly fee.

Read more about our air ambulances services here and our medevac cover here.