Summer is here, and it is the season for adventure. There is nothing more adventurous than taking the family on an international trip. Parents are checking their lists carefully to ensure everyone will have a wonderful time while staying safe and healthy.

The pediatricians at Coastal Kids Pediatrics Pediatrics in Orange County want parents to keep in mind that there are risks to children who are traveling internationally. The importance of keeping everyone’s children safe and healthy in every way is held very high at Coastal Kids and that is what motivates them to provide the best pediatric care in Orange County.

Parents planning to travel to another country with their children must become familiar with the following risks of travel and how to avoid them. It is best to be fully aware when traveling with children. Many parents also take their children to the Pediatricians before the trip.

Mosquitoes and malaria

Malaria is the foremost disease carried by insects and is a common infection in tropical areas. It is a serious illness that is spread by mosquitoes. In the United States, there are very few cases of malaria that occur each year. Infected individuals have reported that they had traveled to a foreign country prior to infection.

Symptoms to watch out for include:

Irritability
Drowsiness
Poor appetite
Trouble sleeping
Chills

Fever (This may either slowly increase over a day or two or may spike very suddenly to 105° F (40.6° C) or higher. While the fever tapers off and the body temperature rapidly returns to normal, the child may sweat profusely.)
Rapid breathingMany other diseases can come from bugs too. Bug bites must be avoided. Children and their parents can prevent bug bites by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, as well as sleeping under a bug net when necessary.Cute animals and rabiesThere are many cute animal all over the world and children rush to pet them when they see one. Petting strange animals are a huge risk for rabies. Rabies is a medically treatable virus but may be deadly if left untreated.Symptoms to watch out for include:Fever
Headache
Muscle aches
Loss of appetite
Nausea
Fatigue

Children should be told not to pet or approach any animals at all. They also need to be reassured that if they get bitten that they will not be in trouble but must tell an adult right away. If bitten, the wound should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and warm water. Parents should not wait for symptoms. The bite must be looked at by a physician as soon as possible.

Unfortunate Events

Car accidents are the leading cause of death among children who travel and drowning is the second.

Age appropriate car seats are not always available in other countries; parents should be prepared to take one with them while traveling. When in or near bodies of water, children should be closely supervised and always wear a life preserver around water.

Those who plan on traveling with children this summer should contact Coastal Kids Pediatrics Pediatrics in Orange County for more precautionary advice, to learn more about travel vaccines and to receive the best pediatric care in Orange County.