Traveling abroad with your family? Our Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Amanda Whisnant reviews some travel health tips to keep in mind, as well as how to prepare before your trip.
Hi, I’m Amanda Whisnant, one of the nurse practitioners at MD Pediatrics. Today I’d like to address some common questions regarding your family’s health when you travel internationally.
When you’re making plans to travel overseas with your family, making sure that you receive the proper vaccines and medications is just as important as booking flights and hotels. It’s easy to forget about these details until the last minute, but since some vaccines require time before they start to offer protection, it is best to schedule appointments at least three weeks before your departure date.
Start by visiting the CDC website at cdc.gov/travel to check on the medication and vaccine recommendations for the area of the world that you’ll be visiting. If you are visiting a developing country, it is very likely that your family will need the typhoid vaccine, which must be administered by your local health department or travel clinic at least 2 weeks before you travel.
If you are visiting a tropical or humid area, it is possible that your family will need anti-malarial medication. In this case, we’ll need your travel dates and total length of travel time so that we can prescribe an appropriate medication for your children. There are various options for anti-malarial meds, some requiring daily use, some once a week, some starting before your departure, and some continuing to be taken 4 weeks after your return from the trip. We will be happy to discuss all of these options when you come in to find the right choice for your family.
Diarrhea is among the most common illnesses experienced by children who are traveling. For infants, the best way to prevent diarrhea is breastfeeding. Older children visiting developing countries should follow basic food and water precautions: eat only food that is cooked and served hot, peel fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink only beverages from sealed containers or water that has been boiled or treated. We can discuss the appropriateness of anti-diarrheal medications and motion sickness medications when you visit the office.
I hope this has been helpful in the preparation for your upcoming trip, and we wish you happy and healthy travels.