[Expert Tips] Travelling With Children – First Aid Kit

[Expert Tips] Travelling With Children - First Aid Kit

Tips are advice by  Dr Mas Suhaila Bte Isa, Consultant, Division of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, BabyCenter & CDC. 

To expect the unexpected is absolute mandatory when you are travelling with babies or children. So you may have done your pre-travel health checks for your children especially if they are kids with asthma and allergies but the essential items to go into your carry-on luggage – are they ready?  Making sure your ready-packed first-aid kit for in case any emergency happen, should be your prime importance other than the toys, snacks or clothes. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

| Babies | 

you won’t go wrong with the followings: 

  1. Prescription medicines – If your baby is taking prescribed medicine, take enough with you to last the whole holiday 
  2. Thermometer 
  3. Infant painkillers – For example paracetamol for lowering fever and easing pain 
  4. Antiseptic cream or spray – Helps to stop any cuts and grazes from becoming infected. Apply after cleaning the wound 
  5. Plasters – Get different sizes and shapes to cover any cuts or scrapes 
  6. Insect repellant – Talk to your pharmacist about which one is most suitable for your baby 
  7. Antihistamine cream – To soothe insect bites and stings 
  8. Rehydration powder or solution – For preventing dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting 
  9. Ice or gel packs – Apply these to bumps and bruises to relieve swelling 
  10. Emergency contact numbers – For emergency phone number for an ambulance, phone number and address of the hospital nearest to where you’re staying, phone number of your hotel or accommodation provider who may be able to help in an emergency

| Children |

  1. Hand Sanitiser Rub – It is effective against most bacteria, but it may not prevent some spores or viruses. So hand washing is still important. If you’re unsure, do both. Be sure to keep these stored carefully so they are not ingested by small children. 
  2. Dressings – A basic dressing pack can be picked up from your pharmacy and should include a crepe bandage, gauze, waterproof dressings, scissors and medical tape. Include an antiseptic for wounds (such as Iodine wipes). Plasters are also useful for small cuts and scratches 
  3. Burn Treatment – Aloe vera cream is useful to relieve mild sunburn and a dry non-stick dressing is important for small first degree blisters. 
  4. Paracetamol – For pain relief and fever. 
  5. Thermometer – Choose one that doesn’t require batteries and isn’t easily breakable. 
  6. Antihistamine for allergies and runny nose – Be aware that these should only be used for children over 2 years old and may cause drowsiness. 
  7. Sting Relief For bites and itchiness. –  Anti-histamine cream or natural alternatives available. 
  8. Fluid and Electrolyte Replacements – For instance Hydralyte or Pedialyte that can come in powder or disposable tablet form. 
  9. Moisturiser – Eczema is a common problem in heat, or when using sunscreens or repellants. Daily moisturising will help. Ask your pharmacist for recommendations. 

| Children With Prior Medication Conditions |

  1. Regular Medicines – Pack these with an accompanying letter from your doctor. Be sure the letter uses the chemical names for the medicines (not the brands – for instance, “Paracetamol” rather than “Panadol”) to avoid confusion overseas. Carry these in your hand luggage so they do not get lost in transit. If you’re unsure, check with your airline to find out what you can carry on board the plane. 
  2. Epipen – For children with known severe allergies. You will require a prescription to get this. 
  3. Sterile Syringes for some conditions – Always carry these with a letter from your doctor and ensure you take your own disposal unit.
  4. Puffers and Spacers – For children with asthma. 
  5. Medic Alert Bracelet – All children with chronic health conditions or allergies should wear one when travelling. This can be organised through your doctor.

| Adults | Medication supplies | 

  • Medications taken on a regular basis at home
  • Treatment for pain or fever eg paracetamol or aspirin
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Packets of oral rehydration salts for dehydration
  • Antacid
  • Treatment for upper respiratory tract discomfort eg antihistamine, decongestant, cough suppressant or expectorant, cough drops
  • Anti-motion sickness medication
  • Medication to prevent malaria, if needed
  • Medication to prevent or treat altitude illness, if needed
  • Epinephrine auto-injectors if history of severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis
  • Diabetes testing supplies and insulin
  • Needles or syringes, if needed, such as for people with diabetes.
  • Medical alert bracelet or necklace eg for diabetes or allergies

| Adults with pre-existing medical conditions |

  • Carry all medications in their original containers with clear labels including their name and dosing regimen.
  • Carry a copy of all prescriptions, including their generic names
  • For controlled substances and injectable medications, carry a note from the prescribing physician
  • Certain medications are not permitted in some countries. If there is a question about these restrictions, particularly regarding controlled substances, travelers should contact the embassy or consulate of the destination country
  • Carry enough medication for the duration of their trip and an extra supply

| Basic First Aid Items |

  • Disposable latex-free gloves (≥2 pairs)
  • Adhesive bandages, multiple sizes
  • Gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wound cleanser
  • Cotton swabs
  • Antifungal and antibacterial spray or creams
  • 1% hydrocortisone cream
  • Anti-itch gel or cream for insect bites and stings
  • Aloe gel for sunburns
  • Digital thermometer
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Elastic/compression bandage wrap for sprains and strains
  • Triangular bandage to wrap injuries and to make an arm or shoulder sling

Alternatively, there are commercial medical health kits available for purchase from the pharmacy.

| Supplies to Prevent Illness or Injury |

  • Antibacterial hand wipes or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, containing ≥60% alcohol
  • Insect repellents for skin and clothing
  • Bed net (if needed, for protection against insect bites while sleeping)
  • Sunscreen (≥15 SPF with UVA and UVB protection)
  • Water purification tablets (if visiting remote areas, camping, or staying in areas where access to clean water is limited) 
  • Personal safety equipment (such as child safety seats and bicycle helmets)

| Documents to take note |

  • Proof of vaccination on an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) card or medical waiver (if vaccinations are required) 
  • Copies of all prescriptions for medications, eye glasses/contacts, and other medical 
  • Documentation of preexisting conditions, such as diabetes or allergies 
  • Health and travel insurance information 
  • Contact card including personal address and phone numbers, contact of family member or next-of-kin

Bookmark the list downif you are heading out anytime soon, but nevertheless it’s best to check with your doctors if you have any doubts.

Familystayg Team


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