As summer approaches, millions of families across the country are planning their vacations and travel adventures with the kids. Summer travel is an important time to remember travel health, as nothing can ruin a great vacation faster than a sick child. By enlisting the kids in the quest for travel health, proper hygiene and prevention can become part of the routine. Here are five key summer travel health tips for kids:
Get the kids involved
Once kids are old enough to understand the concept of being sick, start teaching them good hygiene and habits. Make sure they wash hands before meals and think about implementing incentives to keep them on track. Warn kids about travel health risks and encourage them to keep an eye for them and bring them up when observed.
Wash your hands
The biggest way to prevent illness is by simple hand washing. Teach kids to do this frequently and be sure to bring lots of antibacterial hand lotion and wipes to make it easy to do. There are some foaming and colored products available to make the process more fun for kids.
Watch the food
Staying healthy while traveling also involves eating the right foods and not having stomach issues or illness. Keep kids on a fairly normal diet, pack lots of fruit as snacks. When traveling to theme parks, watch the sweets and don’t let kids eat just dessert items all day. Plan for three, well-balanced meals each day and try to intoduce healthy elements. Suggest salads, vegetables and fruits at each meal and lead by example and make it a family project to eat healthy.
Consider vaccinations and flu shots
When traveling to third-world or areas where disease is a risk, be sure to consult a physician and have kids vaccinated. Also ensure their normal vaccination schedule is updated to be up to date for any international travel. Flu shots are an effective preventative measure against influenza. Be sure to pack a basic first aid kit with aspirin, bandages, antibacterial ointment and pills for diarrhea.
Beware of animals and fresh water
A scratch or bite from an animal, wild or domestic, can cause problems and lead to infection. Teach kids not to approach animals, even dogs on the street. Fresh water in lakes and ponds can be high in bacteria and other water-borne illnesses. Ensure kids only drink bottled water and teach them to not drink tap water.