Ask the Nurse: Summer Traveling Tips
Question: My child has special needs and we want to take a family trip this summer. What should I do to prepare?
Answer: Doing things different on a trip may seem exciting, but if your child doesn’t handle disruption of his/her routine, it can make a trip hard for everyone. Keeping a routine even when on vacation can help insure the trip is enjoyable for everyone.
When traveling there is a degree to which routine disruptions can’t be avoided. To the degree that you can control routines, you should keep them. Keep things as predictable as possible for your child, and know that there will be challenges with disruptions.
Here are a few things that can help with routines.
- Bring familiar items like stuffed animals, favorite blanket, pillow, and toys.
- Keep bedtimes and wake-up times as close to normal as possible, allowing for time changes.
- Consider and plan for meals.
- Bring some entertainment item your child enjoys; videos, video games, computer or other device.
- Keep a consistent schedule from day to day, if you can.
- Talk to your child each morning about what you’ll be doing, and then each night talk about what you’ve done.
If you are flying, you will need to consider additional items. How will the airline handle your child’s equipment? What can come on the plane and what cannot. Considerations will need to be made for oxygen, medications and food. Are treatments, and/or special feedings, or meals, required while on the plane? To provide safe air travel with your special needs child, you should contact the airline. Check out their websites or call them for more information.
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DISCLAIMER: The contents of the Ask the Nurse column (“Column”) such as text, medical information, graphics, images and any and all other material contained in the column (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your (or your child’s) physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY IN SEEKING CARE BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU (OR YOUR CHILD) HAVE READ IN ANY MEDICAL LITERATURE!
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This post originally appeared on our May/June 2013 Magazine