With the end of the school year just around the corner, many families are planning vacations and trips. Whether it’s a road trip to Vermont or a vacation to an exotic locale, Willows Pediatrics thinks there are some safety and health issues you should consider before you depart.
We’ve talked before on the blog about car seats and the importance of making sure your child is safely restrained in the car. But what about flying in an airplane? Are young passengers safe in a parent’s lap?
The Federal Aviation Administration just came out with some guidance. According to the FAA “not all safety seats are suitable for use in an aircraft,” so the website offers information about FAA-approved seats and safety devices like harnesses for traveling with kids. The FAA does not require, but strongly encourages the use of safety seats in children under 40 pounds. And we agree. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently wrote about its support of the FAA’s safety education efforts as well.
Another issue that comes up in our practice is infection and “travelers’ diarrhea,” particularly when families travel overseas. According to Infectious Diseases in Children, an estimated 2 million children travel overseas annually, and “when people travel from more industrialized regions of the world to less developed ones, the rates of infection from bacterial-related diarrhea average 40% [whereas the risk is about 4% at home].” The most common source of traveler’s diarrhea is ingestion of fecally contaminated food or water. Willows Pediatrics wants to make sure you know that if your children develop this condition, replacing bodily fluids is one of the main goals. You might want to consider packing oral rehydration solutions like Pedialyte because it helps replace electrolytes lost during bouts of diarrhea. If you are traveling overseas and would like to discuss prevention and treatment of traveler’s diarrhea, please let us know.
Finally, we want to draw your attention to the fact that car seat safety information and guidelines are constantly changing. The 2012 recommendations from the AAP were published this month, and we hope all of our patients with young children will take the time to review them.
As always, if you have any questions, please contact us or schedule an appointment. Have a wonderful summer … and safe travels!
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