PAEDIATRIC TRAVEL MEDICINE
Because children’s immune systems aren’t as strong as those of adults, they are more likely to acquire common infections and diseases while travelling. Dr Koekemoer emphasises pre-travel preparation (prophylaxis) when it comes to travelling with your baby or child and is able to assist parents in reducing the risks of their children acquiring illness and diseases, as well as prepare parents for the change in routine and diet that comes with travelling.
Dr Koekemoer will do a general health check of your child and advice will be given regarding immunizations as prevention of infectious diseases common in children at each age, before discussing the particular health risks of the destination you have decided on. He will then provide you with the necessary guidance regarding travel medicines and possibly suggest that you have your child vaccinated against particular illnesses that are known to plague the specific location you are traveling to. He will also assist you in preparing for travel with your child or children with regards to motion sickness (car sickness) and sedation for long flights.
Dr Koekemoer is also able to treat ill babies and children returning from their destination. Once back from your holiday, if you find that your child or baby is sick and may have contracted some disease or become sick abroad, your paediatrician will be able to diagnose and treat your child.
While each part of globe is unique, each climate allows for its own set of illnesses and diseases among the population such as Cholera, Ebola Virus Disease, Yellow fever, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus, Typhoid, Diphtheria, Meningococcal meningitis, Hepatitis A and B, Listeriosis, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Whooping cough), Rabies or Malaria. It is ideal to see your paediatrician 4-6 weeks before embarking on your international trip so that you may prepare for the destination’s risks. Your paediatrician will focus on the immunizations that are given as part of the routine schedule, as well as those that are more specific to travelling to specific destinations. Vaccinations that could be considered include Chickenpox, Hepatitis A + B, Measles/mumps/Rubella, Meningococcal Disease, Pneumococcal Disease, Rabies, Shingles, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Pertussis or Typhoid vaccinations.
Six to eight weeks before you have planned to travel will give Dr Koekemer time to assess your child and provide the necessary advice on medications or vaccinations.
It is not suggested to sedate your child for travelling, rather ensure comfort and plan ahead to minimise anxiety around travelling.
Yes, depending on where you are travelling and what the travel laws are for that country, you and your child will need the relevant vaccinations.