Traveling with a young one is almost always stressful. Hunger, exhaustion, loud noises and toilet stops always intersperse even the most mundane of journeys. However, when you have a child with an allergy, the stress that comes with traveling with children is amplified. Ensuring that aspects such as medication, insurance and hotel are all suitably taken care of before the trip is a crucial part of having a good time and maintaining a positive attitude on your travel.
Allergies, as with other illness, require medication. However, the type of medication and how it’s administered varies from allergy to allergy. Allergies that involve sneezing, runny eyes and nose, and coughing often caused by dust, pollen or animal hair can all be eased by antihistamines. These can be ingested orally with water and can even be taken ahead of time before you travel as a precaution. As with most medications, these range in strength from over-the-counter, to prescription strength; your child’s doctor will decide which strength is appropriate for your child. When traveling, stocking up on these is a good idea, in case of accidental loss, and keep a pack on hand. Be sure to follow your child’s doctor’s orders in regards to dose and don’t deviate from this when traveling. Also, bring a spare bottle of water so that your child can take tablets while on the move.
Other allergy medications include EpiPens, often used with nut allergies. These inject adrenaline into the outer thigh to prevent the sufferer from going into anaphylactic shock, which can prove fatal. Ensure you have a couple of EpiPens on hand and that your other traveling companions know exactly how to administer the injection. In addition, when traveling by air, call the airline ahead of time and warn them of your child’s allergy. This should also ensure they remove any nuts from the aircraft before boarding and although this doesn’t account for other people’s food, it can greatly reduce the chances of your child coming into contact with nut, nut oil or nut particles.
Purchasing an SOS necklace or bracelet with a short, clear description of their allergy and how to treat it is a fantastic way of keeping your child safe in case they wander off or are slightly older and like to play on their own. These bands, which come in a range of sizes and have ‘S.O.S.’ written in large text across them, are reasonably priced and could potentially save your child’s life. Attaching your child’s medication in a bum bag or shoulder bag is also sensible so that either your child, or someone treating your child, has easy access to their treatment.
Many travel insurance policies don’t cover allergies so it’s important to research and find one that does. As this guide details, taking into account the length of your trip, cost of luggage including medication and medical equipment, activities and age, is incredibly important to finding the right travel insurance that covers you properly in case of an allergic reaction. This therefore covers you financially when you’re traveling and will put your mind at ease.
There are now hotels available for those who suffer from allergies, such as to feathers or goose down, and special precautions are taken against dust mites. If you have a child with asthma that’s heavily affected by dust, booking into one of these hotels that appear all over the world can greatly reduce the discomfort you child experiences. This will allow your child to rest adequately at night so that they can enjoy their trip as much as possible.
Written by Ella M, freelance writer.