TRAVEL MISTAKE 3
diarrhoea-related illnesses, and skin infections usually triggered by a cut or insect bite.
The list doesn’t end there. cor instance, your kid may also pick up infections that are common in our neighbouring countries, like Hepatitis A and E, by taking a swig of contaminated water or tucking into improperly cooked food, he warns.
These viruses attack the liver and can cause symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, tummy pain and jaundice.
Travel infections aside, even seemingly minor health issues like motion sickness or jetlag can put a damper on holiday fun.
ln one particularly bumpy ﬂight, my 10-year-old puked her guts out thanks to a bad case of air sickness. iater that day, a long three-hour train ride left her miserable and green with nausea.
Don’t want to lose a chunk of your vacation to these spoilers? Avoid these six common travel mistakes to keep Junior – and yourself – healthy on your next trip. in paediatrics at oafﬂes Specialists at oafﬂes Holland V, which runs a travel medicine service.
lutbreaks of chickenpox and measles have also been reported on cruise ships, where it is easy for infections to spread, adds Dr Tan. “Think of a cruise ship as a sardine can packed with people. lne uncooperative person with the ﬂu, for instance, will easily spread it throughout the ship,” says Dr ieong.
Before your trip, check that your kid’s vaccinations are up-to-date. You should also ﬁnd out the required or recommended shots for your travel destination, advises Dr Tan.
Check out the rnited States’ Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention destination list (www.cdc. gov/travel) which provides information on each country’s recommended vaccines, as well as travel health notices and what to do if you fall ill.
Plan your vaccination schedule at least a month in advance by consulting a doctor who is experienced in travel medicine, says Dr Tan. are familiar with in a foreign country, so being prepared can be very helpful,” says Dr Tan.
Pack these into your travel ﬁrst-aid kit, says Dr Tan:
• Basic ﬁrst-aid supplies, including plasters, antiseptic cream and some gauze.
• Medication for fever, cough and colds, as well as diarrhoea and vomiting.
• Your child’s inhaler medications, if he has a history of asthma or has used an inhaler before.
• Anti-allergy medications, particularly for those who have allergies.
• Your child’s medical alert or an updated summary of his medical condition from his doctor, in case of emergencies.
• Syringes to measure and feed medication.
• Mosquito repellent, sunscreen, anti-motion sickness medications (depending on your destination).
You feed your kid “fresh” or undercooked food
Who doesn’t love runny eggs, sausages and a colourful cutfruit platter from the breakfast buffet line?
It’s safer to skip these items when travelling in less developed countries. Don’t take a chance with raw or half-cooked food or food that has been left uncovered or sitting in the open even if you’re dining at an upmarket restaurant, says Dr ieong.
“Many people will say ‘we eat only at ﬁve-star hotels’. But if there is a one-star cook or kitchen helper in the ﬁve-star hotel, your food safety is only as good as that in a one-star restaurant,” he says.
It is still possible for your kid to get food poisoning even in ﬁrst-world countries. cor instance, salmonella is still frequently found in the rS and Europe, while there are cases of Hepatitis A and E in Japan, says Dr ieong.
When in doubt, only feed your kid food that is thoroughly cooked and served hot. Choose fruit that you can easily peel, like bananas. oemember to wash your hands before you tuck into your meal, too. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitiser containing at least 60 per cent alcohol.
The CDC advises travellers to steer clear of:
• Food served at room temperature.
• Food from street vendors.
• Raw or soft-cooked (runny) eggs.
• Raw or undercooked (rare) meat or ﬁsh.
• Unwashed or unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables.
• Peelings from fruit or vegetables.
• Condiments (such as salsa) made with fresh ingredients.
• Unpasteurised dairy products.
• “Bushmeat” (monkeys, bats or other wild game).