Holidays with children: Five tips to stay healthy

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Of: Natalie Hull Drawbar


Yay, vacation and holiday at last! Make sure you have the right first aid kit now so that parents and children can enjoy the time in good health.

It’s the time of year that everyone looks forward to: holidays, relaxation, sun, swimming! Everything must go as smoothly as possible with the arrival, the stay and last but not least the health. Because nobody wants to get sick on holiday. With the right tips and tricks, you can treat or even prevent illnesses while you travel – so gastrointestinal infections, sunburn, colds and, last but not least, more serious viral diseases, such as Corona, have as little chance as possible on holiday.

Healthy through the holidays: tips so that children don’t get sick during the summer holidays

For beach holidays, it is especially important to be aware of high sun protection, a hat, swimming trunks and bathing suit to change into, and light, long-sleeved clothing to cover when it is windy. Sunburns and colds caused by wet swimwear or cool temperatures are especially uncomfortable for young children and babies. (Iconic image) © Science Photo Library/Imago

The suitcases are almost packed, only the last important things are missing: in addition to a toothbrush, cosmetics, the child’s favorite teddy bear, there must also be a complete first aid kit in the suitcase. Parents know how difficult it can be when their own offspring get sick – especially on holiday – and then it’s time to stay in bed instead of splashing around in the pool.

It does not matter whether it is at home in Germany, in other parts of Europe or in distant countries: children can get sick anywhere because their immune systems are less mature and they are therefore more susceptible to infections.

Holidays with children – Tip 1: Don’t forget sun protection

Not only adults should go out in the sun with at least a sun protection factor of 30 – children with their sensitive skin are particularly vulnerable to sunburn. It is better to take precautions and carry enough sun protection than to take care of it on the spot. Especially in the southern countries, the climate and sunshine are unknown, and the skin of the little ones can turn red very quickly. We recommend heavy-duty sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 50 plus, ideally still waterproof. And if your child doesn’t like sunscreen, a sun spray is ideal as an alternative, as it is often easier to distribute. They are also available for sensitive skin and with nourishing ingredients.

Holidays with children – tip 2: suitable clothes, pack for the weather

Depending on the holiday destination and the weather, clothes for the children should be chosen accordingly. Although it’s a warm destination, it’s a good idea to pack extra gear for chilly days and evenings. When your child gets a cold, it can weaken their immune system, making their body more susceptible to infection. And it is especially inconvenient on holiday.

A good rule of thumb is: Think about and pack two outfits for each day – young children in particular often make a mess when eating ice cream or on the playground. So it’s nice to know that you still have a change of clothes with you – and for a two-week summer holiday you have about two to three pullovers or cotton cardigans and a light windproof jacket tucked away in your suitcase.

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Holidays with children – Tip 3: Get enough sleep to keep you healthy

It’s actually like that, and it’s actually quite simple: if you want to stay healthy, you should make sure you get enough sleep. This also applies and especially to the little ones among us. Too little sleep weakens the body and thus the immune system, which makes it harder to fight bacteria. How much sleep a child needs to stay healthy and even grow healthy depends on their age. What is often not possible in everyday life should be the top priority for a healthy family holiday, both for children and adults: don’t go to bed too late, sleep late, get plenty of rest. Then there is nothing that stands in the way of a healthy holiday.

Holiday with children – Tip 4: Eat healthy, drink a lot

On hot days, it is especially tempting for children to lick lots of ice cream. Understandable, but for a healthy immune system you should pay attention to a balanced diet with vegetables and fruit – also and especially on holiday. Sufficient fluids are also particularly important on hot days, for health reasons it is best to buy water bottles and not from the tap, especially in countries with different hygiene standards.

Holidays with children – Tip 5: Prevention through hygiene measures and a first aid kit

In order not to get sick on holiday, it is definitely advisable to follow certain hygiene measures and have a comprehensive first aid kit in your luggage. Especially in other places and abroad, for example, digestion can react to food in an unfamiliar or stressful way, the intestines are rumbling or gastrointestinal infections with diarrhea and vomiting are the result. In addition, the child’s sensitive skin may react to the unfamiliar sunlight or even develop a sun allergy. It is therefore advisable to take medicine with you on holiday just in case, which usually does not require a prescription, such as

  • Preparations against nausea and vomiting – the active ingredient dimenhydrinate is recommended for adults and children.
  • Preparations against itching and inflammation as well as allergies – the active ingredient dimetinden maleate has proven itself against itchy skin, hydrocortisone relieves inflammatory and allergic skin reactions.
  • Anti-inflammatory preparations for pain and fever – Ibuprofen in the form of tablets, juice or suppositories
  • nasal spray
  • Anti-inflammatory sprays for sore throats
  • wound disinfectant
  • Pavement

With the corona pandemic, many people in Germany developed a different awareness of hygiene. Face masks, thorough hand washing and disinfection were and still are an important part of our everyday life. Parents can prevent their children from getting infections and illnesses while on holiday if they make sure their children wash their hands thoroughly, especially before and after using the toilet, or disinfect them.

In light of a possible worldwide outbreak of the new corona omicron variant BA.5, greater emphasis should be placed on hygiene, especially on holiday, so that children or parents are not infected with corona on holiday.

If you have been vaccinated against Covid-19, it is best to check before you travel whether your vaccination certificate has expired and, if necessary, whether you can extend the expiry date of the vaccination certificate in the CovPass app. Minors who have already received a corona vaccination before their holiday will receive an EU vaccination certificate that is valid for an unlimited period even without a booster vaccination.

This article contains only general information about the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medicine. It in no way replaces a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical images.

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