What to Do if Your Child Gets Sick While Traveling

With schools letting children out for summer vacation and the warm sun beckoning you to your favorite camping spot or to fly to some exotic location, you must be prepared for the worst — especially when traveling with children. Even with more than 12 billion shots, traveling during COVID means being extremely careful and watching for telltale signs of sickness. So if you’re thinking about getting on a plane or heading out on the open road with your family, keep reading to be prepared and know what to do if your child gets sick while traveling.

Treating Motion Sickness

One of the most common reasons a child gets sick on vacation is motion sickness or car sickness. It generally affects children between ages six to twelve, but it can affect all ages, even babies.

Motion sickness occurs when the brain gets contradicting information from various body parts like the inner ears, eyes, nerves, and joints. If your child has ever suffered from motion sickness, you know how disruptive your trip can be.

Before your child starts to develop symptoms of car sickness, consider implementing some of the following preventative measures:

  • Limited sensory input. Recommend your child to look outside instead of at a tablet screen or a book.
  • Limit food intake before a long trip. Instead, consider small snacks such as dry crackers and a small drink if they need to eat.
  • Provide distractions such as singing, talking, or listening to music.
  • Ask your doctor for any over-the-counter medications.

If your child starts showing signs of motion sickness, even with preventative measures in place, pull over immediately and apply a cool towel to their head to help calm their symptoms.

Treatment on the Go

Consider keeping a medicine go-bag pre-filled with all the medication you would need. It can be a lifesaver, especially when you’re in a rush and forget to pack a small item like a children’s pain reliever.

Every go bag will vary depending on your child’s needs, but at the bare minimum, it should contain the following:

  • A first-aid kit
  • Children’s pain reliever
  • bandages
  • Thermometer
  • First aid ointment

The best practice is to keep your medicine go bag filled and pack necessary prescription medications a day or two ahead.

Locate Medical Facilities and Doctors Ahead of Time

Whether you’re going deep into the neck of the woods or across the country to Disneyland, you want to locate a medical facility and doctors ahead of your trip.

The last thing you want is for your child to get sick and not know where to go — especially if you’re in the middle of a custody battle. You can learn more about custody battle tips here.

Call your health insurance and find out which hospitals they cover. If you’re traveling internationally, research on travel forums or search for doctors that can speak your language.

Traveling With Children

It’s disappointing when anyone gets sick on a family vacation, but it’s very common when traveling with children. That said, now that you know how to prepare and prevent your children from getting sick to the best of your abilities, you can finally enjoy a relaxing vacation!

If you found this post helpful, check out our other recent blogs!


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