Travel Vaccinations for Children

Is your child protected for travel?

The NHS does not provide all kinds of travel vaccinations to children. You may therefore find it useful to come to Private General Practice Services to acquire the protection your children needs for travel abroad. Book a session with a nurse to learn more about the travel vaccination needs for your children.

Here are a few useful tips for traveling with children:

  • Prepare the steps needed to be taken before traveling and whilst traveling with children
  • Gather further advice from your GP
  • Make sure to cover all immunisations for children in your selected country before visiting
  • Take into account disease management and prevention discussed below

 

Planning

  • Babies will need feeding. Breast feeding is easiest and best. If bottle feeding, there must be facilities for keeping equipment sterile.
  • When flying with children a dummy helps swallowing and can ease the discomfort to ears of take-off and landing during air travel.
  • Plenty of food and drink should be taken on the journey. Familiar treats mitigate boredom and may be a godsend if there is a significant delay.
  • Books, toys and games should be taken also.
  • Parents should be obsessive about pool safety with children.

 

Health planning for children traveling abroad

Children are more prone to illness than adults. Parents and carers should:

  • Be aware of the health facilities on offer
  • Know how to treat minor ailments such as coughs, colds, diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Take basic medications and equipment such as paracetamol, antihistamines, rehydration solution, antiseptics and plenty of plasters
  • Watch out for sunburn, particularly in tropical or subtropical areas. Use high-factor sunscreen or opaque clothing
  • Pack calamine for treating sunburn
  • There is an increased risk that cuts and sores will become infected, so antiseptic creams should be taken and abrasions should be covered.
  • Animals can bite and may transmit rabies. Make sure the child is not over friendly.
  • The child’s skin should be kept cool to avoid prickly heat – an irritating rash caused by blocked pores of overactive sweat glands. They should have lots to drink, stay in the shade and avoid oily creams.
  • Children are not only more prone to diarrhoea than adults but also more susceptible to its effects. Medical help should be called early, especially if a child is also vomiting.

Malaria

  • Malaria is dangerous from birth onwards
  • Chloroquine and proguanil are safe for babies and young children
  • Doxycycline must not be used in children under 8 years
  • Use of other anti-malarial medicines depends on the weight of the child
  • Mosquito repellents and nets are just as important for children as adults
  • Consultation with the doctor may be required for medication/prescription.

Vaccinations

  • Children should receive their primary course of immunisation and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine
  • Meningococcal C vaccine will not protect children against meningitis overseas. They need meningococcal ACWY
  • Yellow fever vaccine can be given from 9 months
  • Tuberculosis vaccination is recommended for tuberculin-negative children under 5 years who will be living in developing countries for more than 3 months, and should be considered for children under 16 who will be living for long periods in high-risk countries (Tuberculin test shows whether the child has previous immunity).

To book a travel consultation with the nurse please contact us as soon as possible.

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