If you're traveling with children, the last thing you want is for them to spend their vacation sick in bed. But how cautious should you be about germs and illness when traveling with kids in the U.S.?
Experts agree that a few major precautions, like washing hands frequently, are critical to keeping nasty germs from making children ill while traveling. But beyond those, how careful you are about germs on the road depends on how careful you are about germs at home.
If you don't mind your children crawling around in other people's homes, it's probably not a big deal for them to crawl around in a hotel as long as you check first for safety hazards and wash their hands afterwardin Madison. But what if the thought of your child touching a hotel room floor or snuggling up in an airplane blanket makes you feel ill? You may be more comfortable taking more measures, experts say. And some children are just more prone to illness when traveling than others.
In either case, you'll probably feel more comfortable taking extra care.
Here are some strategies you can use to help keep illness at bay when traveling with healthy children. If you are planning to travel with a newborn infant or a child with a compromised immune system, talk to your child's doctor first about special precautions.
Top 3 Tips for Keeping Kids Well During Travel
Are children more vulnerable to illness when traveling? Experts point to two main reasons the answer is yes: Most children are not particularly good about keeping things out of their mouths, nor are they particularly careful with hand hygiene.
In addition, children's immune systems are less developed than those of adults, and this makes them more vulnerable to illness.
These three strategies can help protect them:
Make sure your child is up to date on immunizations, even when traveling in the U.S. Be sure your child has had routine vaccinations for measles, whooping cough, and other serious illnesses on the normal schedule. And anyone in your travel party who hasn't gotten a yearly flu shot should consider getting one before heading out. The CDC recommends annual flu vaccine for everyone six months old and older.
A flu shot provides double benefits. It protects your child and helps cut down on the general level of flu being transmitted.
Practice good hand hygiene. Washing hands often, especially before meals, is the No. 1 way to prevent illness, at home or while traveling. Of course, you should help small children wash hands and teach older kids how to wash them thoroughly. Using warm soap and water, lather up and scrub all over for 20 seconds, then rinse and dry. While you're at it, encourage your kids not to put dirty hands -- or other things -- in their mouth.