In this health video learn about which ages are safest to travel and what vaccines may be needed.
Read the full transcript »
Female Speaker: The beaches are beautiful, the weather gorgeous, the airports are packed and possibilities for travel endless. There are not many places in the world unexplored. But the modern traveler should be weary especially when tinny travelers are involved. Dr. George McCracken: Morse and more families will travel with their children international. And when doing so, parents should be well informed of the potential infections that are in other countries, the immunizations that are necessary before they go, and very simple precautions in preventing infections while the families including children are traveling. Female Speaker: Jeff Samuels and his wife Ana Lucia have two young girls. They still manage to travel outside the country sometimes twice a year. Jeff Samuels: Before we travel abroad, we like to talk to the pediatrician. We'll try to ask them as many questions as we can about what particular illnesses the country may have and if our children need some extra shots and it's just really important for us to play it safe. We don't want our kids exposed to anything. Female Speaker: A growing number of families like the Samuels are looking for more than just the basics of healthcare. Children's Hospital Boston has recognized the growing need for travel preparations. It's created the Travel and Geographic Medicine Clinic in its hospital emergency department. Here, specialists trained in infectious diseases, tropical illnesses and tropical medicine are on hand to answer questions, provide specialized immunizations and treat rare illnesses, if needed. The focus is on prevention. Dr. Richard Malley: A major goal of prevention is to make sure that children who are living safe in this country do not go to a foreign country and acquire an illness which does not exist in our country, but is very prevalent in the foreign country that they're traveling to. Female Speaker: Travel through certain areas of the world could expose a child to yellow fever, typhoid fever, malaria, Hepatitis-A, cholera, diphtheria. They're among the many infectious diseases common in many parts of the world. The foods in many parts of the world can also pose a problem. Dr. George McCracken: Toddlers and teenagers tend to be the ones that get diarrhea when they travel because they eat indiscriminately. Female Speaker: A simple rule for parents: if it hasn't been cooked, boiled or peeled, don't eat it. Usually bottled water is your best bet, and when it comes to preparing a child or an adult for an exotic get away, plan ahead. Dr. Richard Malley: In general, most immunizations will start taking effect two weeks after they've been given and therefore, given that some immunizations require series, it is most safe to start getting these immunizations four to six weeks before travel. Female Speaker: The bottom line is be prepare, talk to your pediatrician or travel medicine practitioner. Ask questions about your destination, some countries require proof of immunization for certain illnesses, so get information in advance, and have a plan of action in case of emergency during your trip.