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All Posts Tagged: traveling with children


Do You Need a Vaccination for Your Next Trip?

Nothing can ruin a fun-filled vacation faster than illness. While there’s always a possibility of getting sick or injured wherever you are in the world, there are some precautions you can take to stay healthy while traveling. Getting vaccinations before embarking on your trip can prevent all kinds of ailments, from measles to tetanus.

vaccinationsWhen discussing travel vaccines, it’s important to realize that these shots aren’t just necessary for exotic destinations. A 2015 outbreak of measles linked to Disney parks proves that you don’t have to be far from home to get sick. This highlights the first essential step of travel vaccine planning: Ensure that all regular vaccinations are up to date.

If you’re going further afield, you may need additional shots to ensure a safe trip. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a useful website that provides vaccine recommendations for every country. If you’re traveling to Belize, for instance, they recommend hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines for “most” travelers. Meanwhile, “some” travelers may also be advised to get shots for hepatitis B, rabies, yellow fever, and malaria.

Several factors differentiate “most” from “some” travelers, and the subsequent suggestions for both. A rabies vaccination is an urgent matter for children who are more prone to play with wild animals, while the need for malaria medication might depend on whether you plan to backpack through the jungle or stay in a five-star hotel.

A travel medicine expert can best advise regarding your unique vaccination needs before a trip. Make sure you consult a professional well in advance, as some vaccines require weeks of incubation time and booster shots before they are effective. While this will add to your travel planning, it’s well worth the effort: With a simple shot, there’s no need to let preventable diseases ruin your vacation.



If you’re planning a trip and aren’t sure whether you need travel vaccines, HealthSmart Vaccines can help. Located in Chantilly, VA, they offer a full range of vaccinations that will keep you fit on your holiday. In addition to comprehensive travel health advice, vaccines, and medications, they also have travel insurance services. To schedule an appointment, contact them online or by calling (703) 961-0733. 

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Children and Travel

Children are likely to face most of the same health issues during international travel as adults.  Caregivers should be acutely aware of signs of distress or illness of infants and children in their care. If the little travelers have chronic conditions or are immunocompromised, special consideration must be given to their needs. Children can quickly become dehydrated, fussy and febrile. A few important tips come to mind, for example, only serve pasteurized dairy products and thoroughly cooked foods. Infant formula must be mixed with bottled water. Bring: your own car seat for safe travel, quick snacks to satisfy a hunger emergency, oral re-hydration solution packets(check out www.ceraproductsinc.com), childrens’ medicines appropriate to treat a fever or pain. Antimalaria medication prescribed by the child’s doctor will be based on weight and destination.  www.cdc.gov/travel has detailed information on malaria  including avoidance measures for mosquitoes and other pesky vectors. Repellents containing at least 25% DEET  is appropriate and safe for exposed skin on children over 2 months of age according to the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics.  Sunblock with SPF >15 is a must along with appropriate clothing to prevent sunburn. Keeping little hands clean is a near insurmountable task, yet exposure to disease from sand, soil and solid surfaces is common. Teach children  to keep away from animals that can potentially carry rabies. www.arlingtonpediatrics.com has some wonderful tips for a variety of common concerns. My hands-down favorite guide for parents traveling with children is found at www.kidsTravelDoc.com

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