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Top tips for keeping your children safe on holiday

Taking the children on a family holiday can be the highlight of the year and these simple steps, provided by NHS Choices, can help you keep them safe and healthy.

The other important thing to remember is to buy travel insurance every time you travel abroad.

Protect your children from the sun on holiday

If you are escaping to warmer climes on holiday it's important to protect your children from the sun. In addition the immediate discomfort that sunburn can cause, studies have found that sunburn during childhood can increase the risk of skin cancer later in life.

  • Pack sunscreen of at least factor 15 and choose a brand with a 4 or 5 star rating.
  • Apply sunscreen to all areas of skin that are not protected by clothing eg. Face, ears, feet and hands.
  • Apply sunscreen before going out doors and reapply regularly to prevent it being washed or rubbed off.
  • Keep babies in complete shade eg. Under an umbrella, canopy or indoors
  • Protect a baby's skin with loose fitting clothing and hat.
  • Make sure children keep hydrated by drinking regularly.

Keeping your children safe around the pool

Children need to be watched constantly around swimming pools and by the sea; do not rely on life guards who may not be trained to the same standards as they are in the UK.

  • Actively supervise young children near water
  • Choose pools that are fenced with locking gates
  • Even if the pool has a lifeguard, always make sure you know where your children are and what they are doing in or around the water.
  • Think about enrolling your children in swimming classes whilst on holiday - they can be a great way to gain confidence in water and water safety skills.

Preventing travel sickness

Children can suffer from motion sickness more than adults, here are some tips to help you reduce or prevent the symptoms.

Early symptoms of motion or travel sickness include hot flushes, dribbling and paleness.

There are several medicines available from pharmacies which can help reduce the symptoms of travel sickness. Anti-sickness remedies containing hyoscine are the most effective.

  • Look ahead at fixed place just above the horizon; avoid staring at moving object as cars.
  • Sit over the wing of a plane or on deck in the middle of a boat to keep motion to a minimum.
  • Avoid heavy meals, fatty and spicy food before and during travelling
  • On long journeys take breaks where you can, get some fresh air and drink some cold water
  • Ginger can improve motion sickness in some people. Try ginger biscuits or ginger tea.

Family travel insurance - to protect your family and your holiday

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise British nationals to buy comprehensive travel insurance every time they travel abroad.Whilst you will obviously be doing everything in your power to prevent your children requiring any emergency medical treatment during your holiday, it's very important to have family travel insurance in place so that if you any of you do fall ill or have an accident you are not faced with medical bills of hundreds or thousands of pounds.

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