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When Your Child Gets Sick on Vacation

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It is an honor and privilege to take over this column from Dr. Adair.  She has been a great mentor, and is a top-notch pediatrician. We are lucky to have her in Mobile.  With that said, I can’t wait to take the baton and hit the ground running!

In the event that you’re in the midst of planning your spring break or summer vacation, preparations may be well on their way. You may have meticulously packed the bathing suits, pajamas, and snacks. But what to do when the unexpected illness occurs? Possibilities include a fever, common cold, or the dreaded stomach bug.

How do you manage your child’s health while traveling? When packing your children’s essentials, don’t forget about basic medicines. Just packing a small amount of acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol), ibuprofen (i.e. Motrin), or whatever common medicines your child often needs when sick may save a lot of potential interruption down the road. Don’t forget about prescription medicines or skin care items. Remember when traveling by air, medicines are an exempted category for maximum quantities in carry-on items.  Be prepared early. Given the prevalence of the dreaded “C” virus these days, it’s difficult to predict medicinal availability in other areas of the country, or what you’ll be able to find locally at the time you are traveling. 

If your child is prone to motion sickness, ask your physician about possible remedies. If there are any other common illnesses to which your child is particularly susceptible, discuss plans with your pediatrician ahead of time. 

If you or your child has plans for a trip overseas, a quick visit or check-up with your pediatrician prior to the trip may help you to plan out the completion of any recommended vaccinations, common prescription medications, or prescription prophylaxis you may need before leaving the country.

If the unexpected does occur, don’t forget about your hometown pediatrician. Although evaluating your child over the phone or by Facetime may not be ideal, we can still determine if a visit to a local healthcare facility is needed, or, better yet, we very well may be able solve any issues remotely. Prescription medications like antibiotics, creams, or nausea medications can be sent from anywhere in the United States.  So before you think about visiting another healthcare facility while on vacation, or before you leave for vacation, remember the best plan of care for your child starts at home—and with the healthcare professionals who know your child and his or her particular needs and history best. Safe travels! 


Dr. Savannah Browning grew up in Fayette, AL. She moved to Mobile to attend Medical School at the University of South Alabama in 2009, and has been a proud Mobilian ever since. She joined Children’s Medical Group in 2016, and her office is at the Airport Boulevard location. She lives in Mobile with her husband, Andrew, and their three children: Jude, Luke, and Annie.

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Dr. Savannah Browning grew up in Fayette, AL. She moved to Mobile to attend Medical School at the University of South Alabama in 2009, and has been a proud Mobilian ever since. She joined Children’s Medical Group in 2016, and her office is at the Airport Boulevard location. She lives in Mobile with her husband, Andrew, and their three children: Jude, Luke, and Annie.

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