Top 10 Safety Tips for Travelling with Kids
boy points at map With childrentravelling overseas more than ever before with parents, schools or sporting clubs, Dr Deborah Mills, Australia’s foremost travel medicine specialist, has devised a list of the 10 most important travel health care tips for children.

1. Undertake a paediatric first aid course so you know how to deal with emergencies

  • St John’s Ambulance – 1300 360 455
  • Paediatric Health – 0423 585 510
  • Redcliffe First Aid Centre – 0412 813 624
  • Australian Health & Safety Training – 1300 655 135

2. Make sure your travel insurance includes an emergency hotline

3. Plan the trip so you are not too rushed and there is time for rest and play (and even getting sick!)

4. If possible, avoid malarious areas with kids under five

5. See a travel medicine clinic to ensure you and the children have all the necessary vaccines (ie. particularly Hepatitis A as this is not part of the childhood vaccine schedule) and other health precautions – do this at least 6-8 weeks before departure

6. Mum should consider getting a flu vaccine as one percent of all travellers get influenza (and often children have no sympathy for a sick mother and still need care!)

7. Take appropriate car restraints if travelling by cars

8. Practice safe travel techniques before departure – using hand sanitisers, not drinking the bathwater, not patting dogs, not leaning on balconies and extra care when crossing roads if visiting countries where the cars are on the ‘other side’ of the road

9. Avoid mosquitoes – to do this use insect repellent with 30% DEET during the day and wash it off at night before bed – for additional protection, soak clothes with permethrin insecticide before departure

10. Take a well stocked medical kit – include such things as paracetamol, rehydration solution and special antibiotics for diarrhoea.{NB don’t give kids imodium unless advised by a doctor and never give them stemetil}

“If parents and guardians do each of these 10 things before heading overseas with children, they’ll have a much safer and happier time,” suggested Dr Deb.

As a pioneer within the travel medicine field, Dr Deborah Mills of Dr Deb’s – The Travel Doctor, has practiced in the area of travel medicine for 20 years.She is also the author of Australia’s most popular medical travel book ‘Travelling Well’ which is in its fourteenth edition and has 125,000 copies in print.

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