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Do kids need extra vaccines when traveling?
There are no special additional vaccines in that children, nowadays, do get hepatitis A vaccines in their childhood schedule. There are some older children, maybe late teens, who may have not had hepatitis A vaccine in their schedule, so that would be required. Other than that, yellow fever vaccine, typhoid vaccine; those sorts of vaccines would be the same as for adults.
What medical issues should parents be aware of in traveling abroad with children?
In traveling to exotic areas, there are frequently instances where you can handle an unusual animal or pet or monkey. However, that’s not a good idea. Animals — even cats — most cats and dogs in many developing countries do not have rabies vaccines and, therefore, children or even adults that love animals are at risk from these animals if they were to sustain a bite or deep scratch.
What are common problems that occur when traveling with kids?
Diarrhea in children traveling to exotic places is an interesting problem. However, every place in the world does have the availability of little packets of sugar and salt, called oral rehydration salts or oral rehydration fluid. It’s much like the fluids we use in the States for diarrhea in children. We don’t recommend antibiotics for diarrhea in children; however, it has been shown that these oral rehydration salts do give protection against the needs for hospitalization and dehydration.
Should parents bring car seats when traveling?
Car seats may not be required at your destination; however, it is a good idea to make sure that either you take one with you or can get one at your destination. Even some airlines may require a car seat and a separate seat for children or infants in certain situations, so you would need to investigate that.
What else should parents do to prepare for a trip?
When traveling with children, you want to make sure that you have established a primary care provider for your child.
What if my child gets sick during our travels?
When traveling, if your child gets sick, the first contact would generally be with your primary care provider and now that the Internet and cell phones are readily available, it’s not that hard to do. You would handle an emergency situation like one in the States if you thought it was a 911 situation, you would use the same emergency procedures overseas. Other places they have similar numbers and procedures.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's pediatric services or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego pediatrician or a family medicine doctor online or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.