Pediatric travel medicine involves the education of parents about the numerous health and safety issues related to traveling with infants and young children – whether an extended trip overseas or a weekend at the local lake.
It includes providing children with vaccines and medications, giving telephone advice to parents while they are traveling, and treating children should they come home ill. Practitioners must be knowledgeable about such varied topics as avoiding diarrhea, infant safety seats for air travel, altitude sickness, sun exposure, waterfront safety, insect protection, dealing with hot and cold environments, and at what age it is safe to begin scuba diving, to name just a very few.
Practitioners must also know when adult recommendations can – and cannot – be adapted for children; that vaccine doses, needle size, and injection site may vary with the size of the child; and the answers to hundreds of everyday questions such as how to administer an essential but bitter tasting medication to an uncooperative child – and what to do when the child refuses to take the medication or vomits it.
If you have any medical questions, please seek professional advice.