We literally just dropped our 2 kids off to stay with their grandparents for the week, as we prepare to travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. They’re not quite the ages yet where they could travel internationally comfortably. However, for those that are traveling abroad with their little ones, here are some medical and parenting tips for you:
1. Make sure their vaccines are updated. If traveling between now and May, flu is still a risk for very young children. Please make sure they’re vaccinated, along with Tdap and MMR, if needed. If you’re unsure, ask your medical provider to check their records.
2. Make sure you don’t need to purchase them their own ticket. If still in a carrier seat, you can likely hold them in your lap and check the seat. Check with each airline to see what the age cut off is for needing their own, individual seat.
3. Carry lots of snacks and sanitized wipes. The other passengers on the flight will love you for keeping your little ones content with snacks on the plane. But, please don’t forget the sanitizer and sanitized wipes, for obvious reasons.
4. Electronics are ok. There has been a lot of heated debate lately about how much screen time kids should be allowed and at what age. As a family doctor, I understand where the professionals and concerned parents are coming from. However, as a parent myself, I have allowed and do allow my children to watch TV and play with electronic tablets….after their homework has been completed. If they misbehave or their grades begin to slip, the screens are the first rewards to go away. With travel, screens have saved our lives. The flight and rides are much more calm and quiet if the iPads are brought along. We also tend to lean toward almost all educational programs for them to watch. Go with your gut.
5. Enjoy them. Try to relax and not be so stringent with the schedule and the rules that you forget to have fun. That’s true when traveling and when at home. Our time with our kids goes by so quickly and they grow up so fast. Don’t forget you’re making memories on your vacations. Be present and be safe out there.