Make sure your children's vaccines are up to date before travelling. (CC BY 2.0)

Make sure your children’s vaccines are up to date before travelling.

Moving abroad can be a stressful (and exciting) experience for the whole family, resulting in possible health issues. However, it is most commonly reflected in children due to weaker immune systems and more emotional distress. Your children’s health should be on your top priority list months before departure.

Most adults are warned about travelling internationally and keeping safe abroad, but children are often overlooked with the general thought that because they are children, they can handle anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. Don’t let there be any unpleasant surprises when you are starting a new adventure with your family. Prevention is key!

Immunise your children

Before you start asking about the immunisations and vaccinations your children may need for your travels, make sure they are up to date with the vaccines necessary for their age (chickenpox, measles, hepatitis). Your family pediatrician should have a record of your children’s health, but another check up would be ideal.

Once that is all set, ask your doctor if he or she knows of any doctors specialised in international travelling health. Not all doctors are familiar with what vaccinations are needed in certain countries. However, you should also do your research beforehand. Once you find a specialised doctor, let them know when and where you are travelling so he or she can advise you on the necessary immunisations your children may need (against malaria, yellow fever, or polio, for example).

Other diseases

There are certain things that your children cannot be vaccinated against, such as dengue fever. Being informed about the most common illnesses in your destination can save you trips to doctors, medicine, and a bad experience abroad. A lot of fevers are caused by insect bites that are uncommon in your home country causing slight allergic reactions (like the tabano in Latin America), so make sure to bring plenty of insect repellent, long sleeves and use bed or window nets to keep your children safe.

For further information and advice on immunisations and disease incidence in different countries, take a look at Integra Global’s Health guides which are free to download and packed full of useful health information for your big move.

[Image source: CreationWiki]