KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — For those traveling for Thanksgiving, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has some tips for staying healthy along the way as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Gatherings are low risk for those who are fully vaccinated. But, Children’s Hospital says it’s still a good idea to keep your gathering small, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly and of course, stay home if you are feeling sick.

Tips for common travel troubles

Jet lag

When flying across time zones it can take your internal body clock time to catch up to local time. Kids will be extra tired and cranky if their sleep routines are messed up.

  • Try to adjust your family’s sleep schedules 2-3 days before departure by moving bedtime back slowly.
  • Get plenty of rest before the trip.
  • Drink lots of water and other noncaffeinated drinks.

Ear pain

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.
  • 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 30 minutes to an hour before the flight.

Motion sickness and upset stomach

This can happen by plane, boat or car. Kids are more susceptible than adults.

  • Having kids eat a light meal or snack before departure can help.
  • 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.
  • Keep a window open a little for fresh air.
  • Make frequent rest stops.
  • Ask a doctor about medicines to prevent travel sickness.

Good items to pack

  • Face covering
    • Required if traveling by plane and may be required in other places during your trip.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes
  • Medicines your child normally takes
    • For example: Don’t forget your child’s EpiPen for allergic reactions or insulin.
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen
  • Small first-aid kit that includes:
    • antiseptic
    • antibiotic ointment
    • bandages
    • Over-the-counter medications recommended by your doctor
  • Don’t forget to buckle up!
    • Be sure your child is in a proper car seat and buckled up every time you hit the road.