With the kind of weather and climatic change these days, as such kids are susceptible to falling sick anytime of the year. But I must admit- the number one week for my kids to get sick has been…… the Vacation week! I’m beginning to think it’s a conspiracy.
Or maybe it’s just my imagination. But after you’ve just shelled out thousands of bucks for a trip to see sun, sand and sea (oh, I am already waiting for another holiday!!!), it gets a little annoying and frustrating and you can’t help but say, “WHY MEEEEE?!”
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Whether it’s your first time traveling with kids or you’re a seasoned traveling parent no one wants the vacation they’ve been looking forward to finally arrive and bam your child is sick. Two days before we were scheduled to visit Goa last month, our son came down with cold, cough & fever.
Let’s face it.
Planning to fly with toddlers is stressful enough in itself. And while you’re getting ready for that trip you’re likely fretting about reaching the destination asap, it’s a few days before you leave and, oh no…
Did he just sneeze?
Does he feel warm to you?
First? Take a breath.
Now, just because your child is sick doesn’t mean you have to cancel the trip. Of course the last thing we wanted to do was put our child in danger- and I would like to reiterate that “sickness” in this context is regular flu (& not something really critical), we followed a few tips that helped alleviate a potentially stressful situation-
5 Tips on Traveling with a Sick Child
1. Check With Your Paediatrician
We made an appointment with our doctor the day before our scheduled departure. Since a week prior to our travel week our daughter had already gone through the same symptoms and bout of viral fever, we pretty much knew it was similar infection that our son had caught (it’s impossible to keep these two separate!!). The doctor said there was no reason he couldn’t travel. He even stated the seawater would be good for his recovery. So with a tuck of medicines, medical prescription for SOS situation and doctor’s consent I felt at ease in going ahead with the travel plans.
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2. Travel With Medication
Honestly, even if your child isn’t sick you should always travel with some basic medication. You never know if they develop a cold on your trip and it’s best to have something you trust. I, for one, am too wary of being away from home locating a medical store in different city or country. Imagine if your child comes down with a high fever at 2AM, what store will be open!??!! Be sure to pack any medicine in your carry-on so you can use it on your flight if need be. Keep the doctor’s prescription and related documents handy for any checks at the airport.
3. Hydrate More Than Ever
Increased fluids such as water, juice, and breast milk is a must-do when travelling with a sick child. Keeping the body hydrated is as it is recommended if a child is unwell, but while travelling we sometime tend to skip the most basic things- hence adding it here!
If traveling by air, have your child nurse, bottle feed, suck on a lollipop or chew something during take off & landing to alleviate the pressure
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4. Travel With Your Insurance Card/ Travel Insurance
There’s certainly no harm going the “safe way”. Even while travelling domestically, ensure you carry the basic health insurance documents, numbers and card in case you need to make a trip to a doctor. If you’re traveling overseas it goes unsaid that you must purchase travel insurance. While it’s usually cheaper to get this at the same time you book you are able to add it at any time.
I used social media (Facebook Mom communities) for taking recommendations from localiites about the best Paediatricians in the area where we were supposed to stay through the vacation. This was indeed a great help from fellow moms who knew the city in & out!
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5. Be flexible and Take It Easy
Before we made the final decision to carry on with our travel plans, we had decided to skip a few activities like taking a local city tour and trying out a few water sports. You must be prepared to make a few changes to your itinerary while traveling with a sick child. It might take you longer to get out for the day or you may need to have an extended midday break. Be flexible enough to keep the vacation comfortable and not overexerting for the sick child.
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What If Your Child Is Too Sick To Go?
If the doctor didn’t give you the go ahead or you don’t feel good about making the trip, your options depend on how you booked your travel. Basis our experience, I would suggest to connect with the airlines and hotel to check on postponing the travel dates- even if they have a “No Cancellation Policy”. With airlines, you never know the customer service agent you will get and how they may be able/willing to help. They may allow you to postpone your travel a few days or cancel altogether for a reduced fee. The same goes for a hotel.
Hopefully you don’t ever have to worry about a sick toddler. But unfortunate circumstances do happen. Happy & healthy travels!
Have you had to travel with a sick child? What was your experience? Any tips on traveling with a sick child?
Please note that by saying “sick” I am referring to your typical colds and viruses affecting otherwise healthy children. I am not a doctor, and this is not a medical site. Consult with your child’s doctor if you have medical concerns before planned travel.