To Your Health – And Baby's

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How can I keep my child healthy during travel to other countries?

To Your Health – And Baby's

Traveling with an infant or toddler means you'll be encountering a great deal of environmental changes and possible travel-related risks. However, if you take the right precautions, there's no reason why your journey shouldn't be injury and illness free. We've gathered some advice on keeping you and your baby healthy.

  • The top reported childhood health problems due to travel, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is diarrhea, malaria, and accidents due to motor vehicles and water. For those visiting third world countries, children are at the risk of contracting malaria or tuberculosis.
  • If your infant is breastfeeding, you have a built-in solution for preventing illnesses from food and water. Diarrhea can be contracted through a contaminated water source.
  • If you're traveling in a country where the water supply is questionable, your best bet is to use purified or bottled water to wash your hands, brush your teeth, and prepare infant foods and formula. Remember to avoid ice cubes if you're not sure about the water source.
  • Malaria is a disease transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitos and occurs mostly in tropical and subtropical areas. Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America have statistically harbored higher cases of malaria transmission, according to the CDC. Using mosquito nets, staying in screened areas, and using mosquito coils are effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay. If you decide to use DEET products, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) deems products with up to 30% DEET safe for infants over two months of age. A 50% concentration of DEET is deemed safe for adults. For more information on prevention and treatment, consult the CDC Website ( or your health care provider.
  • The top cause of death in children who travel is the car accident. We can't stress enough the importance of child safety seats. For more information on how to keep your child safe, refer to our tip, “Road Trip Safety Rules”.
  • The second cause of death in children who travel is drowning. While we certainly don't want to be morbid here, we do want to make you aware of the dangers. When you're traveling, follow all the same precautions you would at home. Never leave an infant or young child unsupervised around water – even if it's only two inches deep.
Helpful Hint: Mosquitoes feed mainly between dusk and dawn, so extra care should be taken during these hours to avoid contact.



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