The volcanic eruption in Iceland has hindered air travel in Europe during the last couple of days. Bad luck for a lot of Swiss families who are scheduled to fly during the start of the Swiss spring holidays. We are one of those families.
And we are among the lucky few who could take off before the Swiss airspace was completely closed last Friday, April 17.
There are however, many people out there who are stranded somewhere. Being an avid travelling, I’m no stranger to be being stuck somewhere. But this has never happened to me when travelling with my kids. I hope this will never ever happen but these are circumstances beyond our control. Today I am bringing you some health tips when travelling, being prepare for all eventualities:
Medications. Hand carry all essential medications enough for a couple of days. In addition, hand carry a clearly written prescription from your doctor. Do not assume you will get access to your check in luggage within a day. Luggage gets lost, planes get grounded. Hand carry optional medications for common health problems such as anti-diarrhea pills, analgesics/antipyretics for pain and fever, and anti-histamines for allergies.
Do not give your children medicine that would make them drowsy (e.g. Benadryl). I know of parents “drugging” their kids so they would sleep on long flights. Such a practice, however, is dangerous and is discouraged by doctors and health authorities.
Ear aches. Give children something to chew/suck during takeoff and landing to prevent ear aches.
Nausea and motion sickness. Some kids would feel nauseous during the flight and throwing up is a common problem. My sons have this problem. There are some anti-nausea medications out there but so far, I haven’t really used them as their side effects might be worse than the original symptom they are treating. The first thing I reach for after fastening the children’s seatbelts is the airsickness bag. Make sure that there is one in the pocket front of you. Keep it easily accessible. All these years, my kids and I got the routine perfectly figured out. The kids are now the ones who willingly check for the bags. Mom is always ready to help. We had two vomiting incidents this trip, without any mess whatsoever. In a previous, when we had one mishap, I was pleasantly surprised how the crew of the airline Emirates handled the situation. They had a vomiting clean up kit ready, complete with gloves, disinfectant, a powder that congealed the mess into manageable form, and got rid of the residual odor. All I had to do was change my son’s clothes. Bravo for this airline.
Change of clothes. Yes, I’ve learned that a change of clothes is always handy to have, not only for the children, but for myself, too.
Thrombosis. Sitting still for long periods of time can play havoc with your cardiovascular health. I am prone to edema in the legs but anti-thrombosis stockings/pressure socks were the one major piece of hand carry luggage I forgot on this trip. I did manage to prevent edema formation by standing up regularly to do stretching exercises. OK, so the other passengers looked at me a little funnily. Who cares? I remember on a flight to Asia once, a group of senior citizens (presumably Chinese) regularly got up, stood on the aisle, and performed Tai chi moves. What a swell idea!
Drink, drink, drink. Finally, keep yourselves hydrated during long-haul flights, not with alcohol or coffee, but with water.