KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Many of us will be traveling over the holidays with children in tow. Breaking away from your family’s normal eating and sleeping routines means it’s more likely someone might get sick.
Children can also be more vulnerable to travel-related problems like motion sickness and infections.
Here are some tips from Dr. Katy Stordahl with Children's Hospital.
When flying across time zones, it can take your internal body clock time to catch up to local time. Children will be extra tired and cranky if their sleep routines are messed up. Dr. Stordahl says to try to adjust your family’s sleep schedules two to three days before departure by moving bedtime back slowly And get plenty of rest before the trip. It's also helpful to drink lots of water and other non-caffeinated drinks.
It’s common for kids to experience ear discomfort during a plane’s takeoff and descent. Infants are helped by nursing or sucking on a bottle. You can encourage older children to swallow, yawn or if old enough- chew gum. It can also help to give a children’s pain reliever like acetaminophen thirty minutes to an hour before the flight.
Motion sickness can happen whether you travel by plane, boat or car and children are more susceptible than adults. Dr Stordahl recommends children eat a light meal or snack before departure to help. Also, try to avoid eating during short trips. For longer trips, sip drinks and eat light, small meals and snacks. Encourage kids to look outside rather than inside -- they should focus on still objects not moving ones And keep a window open for a little for fresh air. You can also ask your doctor about medicines to prevent travel sickness.
Diarrhea can be caused by bacteria and other germs entering the digestive tract. This can be a more serious problem for babies who can become dehydrated quickly. Consider drinking bottled water when traveling; remind kids to wash hands well and often; use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available and keep pacifiers and infant toys clean. •
Items to Pack
- Medicines your child normally takes (Don’t forget your child’s Epi-pen for allergic reactions or insulin)
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen
- Small first-aid kit that includes antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, bandages and other OTC medications recommended by your doctor
Don’t forget to buckle up!