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Family holiday health essentials

Snorkel, bucket, flip flops and a beach ball on a beach
1st June 2017

There’s nothing like the excitement of a family holiday in the sun – the little ones learning to swim, the older ones exploring the local park, and the lot of them spending long hours at the kids’ club while you find your lost peace of mind.

It’s not all about getting away from one another though - family holidays are used for making memories. Whether that be teaching your kids to swim in the ocean, to finding out your youngest has a talent for picking up languages, or the days of adventure that send you all off to sleep before 9pm. Family holidays allow you to bond and discover more about one another, and there isn’t much that’s more beautiful than that.

Whatever your family trip abroad entails, my goodness does it take a lot of planning, preparation, patience, and persistence. Probably a few other ‘P’ words as well! When it comes to organising your family unit for a holiday, it can sometimes feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone – we’re here to help.

We’ve seen first-hand how family holidays can get cut short or spoilt by illness and we want to use our expertise to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. We’ve taken some of the time and effort out of packing for you with our tips to help avoid a family health disaster. Being ready for the worst might feel like tempting fate, but being prepared could be a life saver, especially if it means helping keep your young child healthy on holiday or free from common illnesses.

What to Pack

Sun Protection – Don’t skimp on sun protection when it comes to young children. Full body bathing suits are not only sanitary for other pool users but also offer full protection to delicate skin. Of course water resistant sun cream is an important accompaniment, protecting necks, feet and faces.

First Aid Kit – You might have noticed that kids are fearless but are also very clumsy, it’s all that enthusiasm for life and learning, I swear. Be prepared for those inevitable boo-boos, cuts and grazes with some waterproof plasters and antiseptic cream. It’s also clever to keep some eye wash in there as swimming in pools or the sea can cause irritation.

Thermometer – You always have one in the bathroom cabinet so definitely take one on holiday. You can keep a close eye on temperatures if anyone falls ill, meaning you can get them medical help as quickly as you would at home.

Allergy Relief – A new environment might lead to your child discovering a new allergy and inevitably falling ill. Packing the correct allergy medications, even if you think your being over-cautious could bring much needed relief from itching and sneezing, which will make everyone a bit happier.

Child’s Pain Relief – We all know there’s way too many to choose from, but look to pack a type that deals with fevers and pain. This means you won’t have to pack several types or buy them at an inflated price while you’re away.

Probiotics – Where an adult might take a diarrhoea relief tablet, a child can’t. The best way to help a young child with a bad stomach recover is with probiotics combined with a BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). This may potentially shorten your child’s illness by around a day.

We’re all guilty of forgetting our normal daily routines on holiday, and that’s especially true of food. As tempting as it is to bombard kids with new taste experiences, try and stick with familiar dishes to keep stomach upsets to a minimum.

Rehydration Drinks – If your child does fall ill then give them lots of water, mixed with fruit juices which contain natural sugars. Rehydration sachets are an easy way to do this and come in lots of different flavours to satisfy even the fussiest of kids.

Suitcase and holiday items

Keeping Kids Healthy on Holiday

Having all the bits and bobs to aid recovery is one thing, but why not stop them getting ill to begin with?

Wash those hands – being on holiday should make you extra careful about hygiene. Always make sure hands are washed before food and after using the toilet, as well as after swimming.

Safe swimming – It’s rule number one when travelling abroad that you avoid tap water, but avoiding untreated water when swimming is also a good idea. This goes for badly maintained pools, salt water or fresh water. New swimmers are often prone to take an accidental gulp or two of water while swimming, so finding the safest swimming environment should be a priority.

BRAT – If you do end up with a sick child, keeping them on their regular diet and eating familiar foods is key. If they’re feeling particularly unwell keep them hydrated and feed them bananas, rice, applesauce and toast until they feel able to eat something more appetising.

We hope that you and your family stay healthy on your summer holiday, but if any of you are unfortunate enough to get sick and you feel it was the hotel provider’s fault, get in contact with us and find out if you can make a holiday sickness claim.

Woman and children's legs in a swimming pool

What Next?

If you found our tips for keeping healthy abroad useful and you want to keep these handy while on holiday, please download our leaflet here.

 Family holiday health essentials