Coping with Poorly Babies & Toddlers on Holiday

From upset tummies, to stings, sunburn, minor cuts and more, little ones are always giving us something to worry about!

If your child falls ill on holiday, don’t panic. Check out our top tips for taking care of unwell tots abroad…

Before you leave home…

1. Check that your travel insurance policy is in date and that it covers the whole family. You may want to print out any useful travel insurance documents before you depart.

2. Until the dreaded B-word takes place and we know how travel in the EU is going to change for UK residents, be sure to register all your family for an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). It’s free and you can apply online. More information is available here.

3. Check and pack your own medical kit to include essentials such as:

Age appropriate paracetamol or ibuprofen suspension, cough syrup, decongestants, antihistamine cream, antiseptic cream, a selection of plasters and small bandages, eye wash and drops such as Brolene.

If your baby has any specific needs, talk these over with your pharmacist before you travel. Remember to ALWAYS keep medicines in a secure place, out of sight and reach of small children.

Whilst you’re away…

Here are some handy tips for identifying and treating common illnesses on holiday.

But remember – the number one rule is always follow your parental instinct, and if you think you need a doctor, call one. All TOTS properties will have emergency information to hand in the guest welcome pack.

Coughs, Colds and Flu

Symptoms:

Runny nose, sore throat, fever, aches and pains, a phlegmy or dry cough, sneezing. 

Treat it:

• Children’s over the counter medicines

• Encourage your child to drink extra fluids 

• Prop your child’s head up in bed with extra pillows

• Plenty of rest will aid a speedy recovery

Vomiting and Nausea 

Symptoms:

Sickness, dizziness, dehydration

Treat it:

  • Drink small amounts of fluids continuously
  • Avoid solid foods initially, build up to bland foods
  • Wait for the sickness to pass
  • Find out about treating travel sickness here
  • If symptoms persist or if the vomit contains blood, consult a pharmacist or Doctor for advice

Diarrhoea

Symptoms:

Frequent, loose or liquid stools

Treat it:

  • Give your child plenty of fluids
  • Avoid giving solid foods until their appetite returns
  • If your child has  diarrhoea more than three times in 24 hours, has a fever, is also vomiting, or if there is blood in the diarrhoea, consult a Doctor.

Fever

Symptoms: 

Drowsiness, high temperature 

Treat it:

  • Administer children’s paracetamol or ibuprofen* at the recommended dosage for 48 hours
  • Encourage your child to drink extra fluids
  • Reduce night-time bedding to a simple cotton sheet
  • If your child is under one year old, they have difficulty breathing, they are difficult to wake, not taking down fluids, or complaining of the light hurting their eyes, consult a Doctor.

* Ibuprofen should not be given to a child with asthma

Ear Infection

Symptoms:

Headache, fever, sore ear, toothache

Treat it:

  • Place your child in an upright position using pillows and place a warm (but not boiling) hot water bottle wrapped in a towel over the ear to relieve the pain
  • Administer children’s paracetamol or ibuprofen 
  • Ask a pharmacist to recommend a suitable decongestant
  • Do not let your child drink from a bottle whilst lying down
  • Keep your child away from smoky environments
  • Never poke any objects such as cotton buds into the ears

Small Cuts and Grazes

Treat it:

  • Wash the affected area with warm clean water
  • Apply a little antiseptic cream and plaster if necessary
  • Give lots of cuddles!

Stings and Bites

Treat it:

  • Wash the affected area with soap and water
  • Place a cold compress (flannel soaked in cold water) over the affected area to reduce swelling
  • Try to avoid scratching
  • Antihistamine cream may also help to reduce the swelling and paracetamol will help if your child is in discomfort

Sunburn

Treat it:

  • Cool the skin, by bathing in lukewarm water
  • Offer plenty of fluids
  • For mild sunburn, apply a baby lotion or after-sun cream
  • If you are at all worried that the sun burn is more severe – consult a pharmacist or doctor
  • Find out more in our complete sunburn guide

If any symptoms persist, always consult a doctor

You can also check on the NHS choices pages www.nhs.uk

Useful Phrases…

English

Spanish

Portuguese

Italian

French

Pharmacy

Farmacia 

Farmácia 

Farmacia

Pharmacie

Doctor 

Médico

Médico 

Medico

Médecin

Hospital 

Hospital 

Hospital

Ospedale

Hôpital

Paracetamol 

Paracetamol 

Paracetamol

Paracetamolo 

Paracétamol

Headache

Dolor de cabeza 

Dor de cabeça

Mal di testa

Mal de tête

Earache

Dolor de oídos

Dor de ouvido

Mal d’orecchi

Mal d’oreille

Diarrhoea

Diarrea

Diarreia

 Diarrea

Diarrhée

Sickness

Náusea

Náusea

Vomito

Vomissements

Tanya Johnson
Tanya Johnson

Tanya Johnson is the Marketing Manager at Tots to Travel, mum of one, big fan of family adventures, the great outdoors, sport and fitness.

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar March 1, 2015 / 2:22 pm

    Some great tips – my daughter has a talent for getting ear infections/viruses/teething on holiday, so I always carry Calpol/infant ibuprofen sachets in hand luggage as well.
    Worth noting that your EHIC does expire, so if you’ve got one, to doublecheck it’s still valid.

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