Young Parents Team
Taking a family trip over the holidays? Bringing the entire medicine cabinet – tempting as it may be – just isn’t feasible. Young Parents got in touch with Dr Thoon Koh Cheng from the Infectious Diseases Service at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and Dr Natalie Epton from the International Paediatric Clinic, to round up some pre-journey tips as well as the essentials for your travel first-aid kit.
ARE YOU IMMUNE? Check that the kids – and you – are up to date with routine immunisations such as tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, polio and MMR.
VIRUS, BE GONE Visit your doctor to see if there are any specific vaccinations required for your destination. Hepatitis A, typhoid, rabies, influenza and Japanese encephalitis are common ones for countries in South-east Asia.
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GET THE STATS Photocopy documents with your child’s biodata, medical conditions, blood type, allergies, immunisation records and emergency contacts.
QUICK-FIX ANTIDOTES Pack regular medications that Junior may need (inhalers for asthma or antihistamines for allergies, for example). Also toss in some paracetamol or ibuprofen (for fever or pain), promethazine (for itching and running nose), magnesium carbonate (for abdominal pain), lactulose (for constipation), oral ulcer gels and medication for travel sickness if your child is susceptible.
PATCH UP For scrapes and bruises, bring basic wound-care supplies such as alcohol wipes, iodine or chlorhexidine wash, antibiotic cream, and plasters, bandages or adhesive dressings in various shapes and sizes.
BUG OFF Take along insect repellent. For children aged six months and above, a reduced-strength seven per cent Deet mosquito repellent is recommended. In the evenings, cover up with long sleeves and long pants. Use a mosquito net for an added layer for protection.
HEAT WAVE If you’re going to a sunny destination, don’t forget the sunscreen. Use one that has a high SPF of at least 30, and try to minimise sun exposure during the hottest times of the day (between 11am and 3pm).