School holidays: Keep your kids healthy on holiday

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SCHOOL HOLIDAYSBeware of insect bites
Wear long clothing as the sun goes down and throughout the evening, to help avoid insect bites by exposing less skin.

Also, subject to the area in which you are holidaying and in consultation with your pharmacist, you might also consider the use of a children’s insect repellent.

If your children have an insect bite, applying a cortisone ointment and/or antihistamine cream can help soothe the itch. Alternatively, you can also try to alleviate the itch by rubbing half an onion on the bite.

Think about vaccinations in time
Children should be vaccinated according to the recommendations of the permanent vaccination committee (STIKO).

For long-distance trips, you should get a special vaccination consultation that’s specific to the region you’re travelling to.

Flying with children
Children cannot adjust to the changes in pressure when flying. If your child has a runny nose during air travel, give them nasal drops before starting and after landing. Encouraging them to drink something can also help them equalise.

Consider choosing appropriate flight lengths based on the age of the child.

Swimming with children
The temperature of the swimming pool or sea should not be less than 27 degrees. If small children or babies start to cry in the water and do not feel comfortable, take them out of the pool.

Not every country is suitable for all ages
In general, it is advisable to avoid countries in malarial areas if you’re travelling with children under the age of two.

Chronic illnesses in children should also be taken into account when choosing the destination. For example, in the case of severe heart defects or asthma, high altitude should be avoided.

Also bear in mind that many accidents and injuries occur on holiday. Parents should be aware of the dangers associated with their holiday location – water or mountains, for example.

General advice would be that parents with small children should only choose destinations in which they themselves feel safe and secure.

Set off in good health
Kindergarten is a perfect place for infections to spread, and a child can become ill from one day to the next. I recommend taking the child out of kindergarten three to four days before the start of the holiday, to help ensure you set off in good health.

About Dr. Karsten
Dr Martin Karsten is a member of Aspria Berlin Ku’damm. He has been working as a specialist in paediatrics since 1991, when he took over his father’s paediatric practice in Berlin-Wilmersdorf;
www.kinderarzt-wilmersdorf.de