Toddler Tales: Traveling with kids — Vaccinations and Medicines

Whether you are traveling to your home country, or making travel plans to a explore a new one, it is a good idea to check up on vaccinations. Some of these may be mandatory, and I understand it is personal preference territory, so give it a thought, speak with your doctor or google to find out more.

Some points to consider:

  • Are the kids’ immunizations up to date? If not, it is recommended to do it at least 4 weeks to a month before travel. Kids may get fever or be in discomfort for 1–3 days after the shots, and it helps to do this beforehand. Some medications also need time to take effect, and you may even need multiple doses before you get on that plane.
  • Check on your immunizations too, and see if you need any. Traveling to different countries may have different immunization requirements. Some countries have a greater prevalence or threat of a disease. You may need to be mindful of that. You might even consider skipping countries which have had a recent outbreak of a major disease.
  • Depending on your healthcare provider, you may need to set up an appointment with the travel nurse/clinic. He or she will go over your itinerary, and advise you on the shots that you need, informing you about the prevalence of diseases geographically. It will depend on where you are traveling, how much area you are covering, and whether you’ll be around crowded areas. She may also prescribe precautionary medicines you may need to take.

We realized this just a week before our travel. The appointment with the travel nurse was booked hastily, and there was a lot of information to be consumed. Since all of us needed a few shots, we spent the final week before travel struggling with sore arms, and in case of kids, sore thighs.

  • Make sure to buy the medicines that you may need on the flight, and during travel. It is generally a good idea to carry a kids thermometer, bandages, and children’s acetaminophen.
  • Your travel nurse/healthcare provide may also provide you with health resources and international contact information of the provider, that you may need while traveling overseas.

Since we were traveling to India, our home country, we were not overly worried about this. But we made sure that our kids’ immunizations were up-to-date, and we had the essential medicines in place. We also updated on our own vaccinations. Also, making a small medical kit saves time and effort, and makes sure that you have the medicines for yourself and your kids, when you need them the most.

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