Preparing Children for International Travel

Preparing Children for International Travel


Traveling with a child can be emotionally and educationally rewarding but challenging as well. Children are traveling from North America and Europe to most parts of the world, including Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. The most common reasons to travel are for leisure and to visit friends and relatives. (1) Children also accompany their families for pilgrimages, study abroad experiences, and parental work. Older children and adolescents travel as part of educational tours and humanitarian mission trips. Similar to adults, children traveling to potentially high-risk regions of the world expose themselves to risks of acquiring malaria, dengue, and diarrheal diseases. These diseases, followed by dermatologic conditions such as cellulitis, bites, and cutaneous larva migrans, are among the most common problems observed in pediatric travelers. Travelers visiting friends and relatives are at a greater risk because most do not visit travel clinics for advice or immunizations. (2)(3) They also tend to visit more remote parts of high-risk countries and stay for longer durations. Although at-risk children may not visit a travel clinic, they may be seen by their primary care health provider. Pediatricians, through setting …


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