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Traveling internationally with children needs more preparation than most parents think. Ensure they are vaccinated properly. Here’s an overview.
Going on a holiday with kids means preparing everything to make the trip as smooth and as safe as possible. Parents who are planning to take kids overseas for a holiday should familiarize themselves with the possible health risks to keep the younger ones healthy and protect them from illness.
Even if the trip does not include exotic locations, it is always best to seek travel advice from a kid’s clinic or pediatrician in Spanish Fork to see if the kids will need vaccines or medication before traveling. A good example of this is the high number of measles cases in the US.
European countries also have cases of measles, meningococcal infections, pertussis, and more. Several years back, there were serious complications from seasonal flu in Hong Kong.
Kids Are More at Risk than Adults
Both children and adults encounter the same health risks in places they go to, but the consequences are far more serious for children. Most children who went with their parents for international travel develop some sort of illness when they come home.
Some kids have diarrhea, which is very common; some have skin disorders like insect bites or parasites, viral infections, fever symptoms, dengue, malaria, typhoid fever, as well as respiratory tract infections.
To prevent these from happening and to keep kids from getting any disease while on vacation, parents need to ensure that their childhood vaccinations are updated. You should also ask your child’s doctor about getting additional travel vaccines for you and the kids.
Depending on your destination, some travel specific vaccines may take around four to six weeks to complete the full cycle. The vaccines will also vary depending on the country you are planning to visit. Some countries like Africa require travelers to have a Yellow Fever vaccine and Anti-Malarial Drugs.
Visit the Doctor Before Traveling
Try to schedule a visit to your doctor around four to six weeks because most vaccines must be given one month before departure. This will give ample time so the immunization can do its work. The shots may also need to be administered over several weeks, depending on your doctor’s advice.
When traveling on short notice, you should still visit your doctor as there might be other meds that you can take before departure. Depending on where you are going or your travel plans, doctors may recommend the following immunizations to be given in addition to the usual vaccines that you or the kids have:
- Typhoid vaccines
- Japanese encephalitis vaccines
- Yellow Fever Vaccines
- Rabies Vaccines
- Meningitis Vaccines
Most kids get their MMR vaccines when they are between 12 and15 months old. Kids also receive their Hepa A shots from 12 up to 24 months of age. For families traveling internationally, babies as young as six months can already get these vaccines.
They will still need routine immunization shots after their first birthday. If the family is planning to visit countries where there is a risk of malaria, discuss anti-malarial drugs with your doctor.
Kids of any age can get malaria, so it best to take the highest form of precaution. Parents should also take the kid’s immunization records when traveling abroad.