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What To Do When Travelling With A Sick Child

travelling with a sick child

Imagine you have planned an entire trip with your family. Everyone is happy. Pieces of Luggage are all neatly packed up. Hotel reservations have been made. And you’re earnestly looking forward to having the time of your life with your family when suddenly your child develops a cold or fever on the morning of the trip. 

Devastating, right?

Travelling with a child is tough. What’s worse is travelling with a sick child. What can you do when you’re required to travel with a sick child? 

What to do when traveling with a sick child

Usually, it is advisable to check with your paediatrician if the child is still tender, to avoid complications. 

A paediatrician can offer specialist advice about your child’s exact ailment to make the travel experience less unpleasant. 

A paediatrician will also be able to recommend action steps you can take if your child’s health takes a turn for the worse later in your trip. 

Asides from contacting a paediatrician for help. What other things can you do? 

Keep reading.

Helpful article:

1. Pack up some medications 

Usually, whenever I’m travelling with my children, I pack up some medications for the trip to use for emergency purposes. Truth is, you never know if your child is going to develop a running stomach or a fever in transit. 

Be sure to pack some medications in your bags, so you can always use them if need be. 

Remember that having the right medications in your bag is half the battle. You need to make sure the medicines you need are always accessible, particularly in the case of a flight delay or lost bag situation (if travelling by air). 

2. Prepare for air pressure 

If you’re travelling by air, be sure to prepare your children for take-off and landing. 

As you probably know, the change in air pressure can pop your ears. 

How about our babies and toddlers? Babies and young toddlers have a hard time relieving the pressure on their own. 

If your child has an ear infection, it is riskier. So, it’s important to check with your doctor before proceeding on the trip. 

One way to alleviate the pressure is to bottle feed, suck on a lollipop or make the child chew something during take-off and landing.

3. Hydrate

Water is the best natural therapy for a sick child.  When travelling by air, be sure to give your child lots of water and as often as possible. 

Under normal circumstances the air pressure can cause dehydration and when your little one is sick extra fluid is needed more. 

Even if water is going to be served, it is necessary to have yours too. 

Woman driving a car with her kids in the backseat

4. Bring distractions 

Video games, toys, colouring books or storybooks can help distract your child from discomfort. 

The trick is to get him/her fully engrossed in the activity so that before you know it, you’ve arrived at your destination. 

It is very easy for a child to get distracted, you just have to know the right strategy. 

Read this too:
8 Fun Activities to Do with Your Children During the Holidays

5. Bring sanitizing wipes 

You sure don’t want your kid contracting another illness. Make sure you have enough wipes to use when travelling. This could be used to wipe down tray tables, seat-belt buckles and chair arms. 

6. Carry on clothing changes 

A sick child is likely to mess the whole place up. In case your child vomits or gets everywhere messed up with nasal discharges. 

In this case, a swap of clothing is necessary. 

When do you cancel a trip because of a sick child?

Sometimes you might need to cancel a trip because the sickness is terrible. 

No one likes to cancel a travel experience they have looked forward to for a long time. However, it is important to do what needs to be done to avoid further complications. 

So, when do you cancel a trip because of a sick child?

There are certain things you will have to consider before making that decision. They include answering the questions below

  • How serious is the sickness? Is it a minor ailment like a common cold or headache?  Or is it something more serious?
  • Is the sickness contagious? If the sickness is a contagious one, it is advisable to avoid the risk of infecting other passengers, as well as your family members. You don’t want to end up with an entire family down with a sickness. 
  • Is this trip refundable? If yes, it’s absolutely fine to cancel for a later date. 
  • Is the sickness getting better or worse? If the sickness is getting worse, then be sure to know that it will become more complicated during the trip. Also, if there are signs of recovery, it could mean that the sickness is alleviating. However, keep it in mind that if the sickness has been masked by medications, it is possible it can resurface during the trip. 

In a nutshell 

Travelling with sick children can be easy with the right tips in mind. Some of the tips include: Carry on some medications. Stay hydrated. Prepare for air pressure. Bring sanitizing wipes. Pack up some distractions like video games, and books for your children, and ensure you carry on clothing changes. 

There are times when you might need to cancel the entire trip.

Whatever is best for you and your child, do just that. 


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Elizabeth Owoade

This is timely. Thanks for sharing mama.

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