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5 Ways to Keep Kids Healthy While Traveling

A pediatrician shares her top tips for healthy travel.


In case you forgot how to wash your hands.

CreditTrips + Giggles

(A sign actually seen in the bathroom at Disneyland.)

The last thing you want to do on vacation is drive around a strange city searching for a drugstore at midnight to pick up fever medicine for your sick child. While you can't prevent every kind of sickness while you're away (or even while you're at home), there are some good health habits to stick to when you're traveling. 

Dr. Noel Salyer, a pediatrician at Pacific Ocean Pediatrics in Santa Monica, Calif. and mom of two, soon-to-be three, kids has shared her tips for healthy travel, so hopefully, you won't be driving around a strange city at midnight in search of a drugstore.

1. Pack Your Own First Aid Kit: Aside from the diapers, wipes and hand sanitizer, bring a first aid kit stocked with the essentials for your child. We've put together a list of what to pack in your first aid kit here. 

2. Handwashing: This is a no-brainer. Dr. Salyer recommends proper handwashing with soap and water. (See sign above if you've forgotton how.) If soap and water aren't available, Dr. Salyer says to use a baby wipe on the hands, followed by hand sanitizer. On the airplane, wipe down the seat tray first before setting up your toys. Do the same for that musuem cafe table and other surfaces where you suspect plenty of kids and adults have been before you.

3. Consider The Season: Babies under two months of age shouldn't fly at all, Dr. Salyer says, because they haven't had their first set of vaccinations. But if its flu season, consider waiting until even later to fly. With older kids, be vigilant about washing their hands after playing and before eating.

4. Bring Healthy Snacks and a Refillable Water Bottle: Whether it's on the plane or in the car, pack some healthy snacks and refillable watter bottles. For older children, you can pack some cut-up fruit and whole wheat crackers.

5. See The Doctor Before You Go: If your child has a chronic illness, visit the doctor before you go to make sure your child is healthy enough for the trip. It's also a good time to discuss a treatment plan with the doctor so you know what to do if something happens when you’re away. Additionally, the doctor can go over any vaccinations available for international travel and to get your prescriptions up-to-date. 

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