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According to Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, early planning and smart packing can help you keep your baby healthy while travelling.


If Travelling Abroad

It’s critical to learn what vaccinations your baby (and even you) may require before international travel.


Different countries have different risks and regulations that may necessitate specific vaccines. Some vaccines are administered in multiple doses over days or even weeks. The majority of vaccines take time to become effective,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“Most immunisations should be administered at least one month before departure. So, try to make an appointment with your baby’s paediatrician at least four to six weeks before your trip. Even if you’re leaving sooner, make an appointment because your baby may still benefit from shots or medications.

If Travelling To Malaria Areas

If you’re going to a malaria-risk country, talk to your baby’s doctor about antimalarial drugs. For a complete list of areas with malaria, click here.


Common Travel Issues

Your baby may experience health issues such as jet lag, ear discomfort, travel sickness, and diarrhoea, regardless of where you go or how far you travel.


Jet Lag

To prevent jet lag, try to change your baby’s sleep schedule two or three days before your trip. Dehydration is one of the causes of jet lag, so ensure your baby drinks plenty of water during the flight.


It’s common for children to suffer ear discomfort during a plane’s takeoff and landing due to pressure in the middle ear as it tries to keep up with the rapidly changing air pressure. Earache can be relieved by nursing or giving your baby a bottle.


Travel Sickness

Travel sickness is common on ships and boats, but it can also affect babies when they travel by plane, bus, or car. To help with motion sickness, have your baby eat a light meal or snack before you leave, as motion sickness appears to be worse on an empty stomach.


Travelling can cause diarrhoea and other stomach problems in infants. Often, water in developing countries is to blame, as it may contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

To ensure the safety of the water, your baby is drinking:
  • Consider only giving your infant bottled water.
  • If you use tap water, boil it first or use an iodine tablet to purify it.
  • Continue to breastfeed your baby if you are doing so.
  • Pacifiers, teething rings, and toys should all be kept clean.
  • Ensure all dairy products have been pasteurised.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be cooked or washed thoroughly before peeling.
  • Meats and fish should be thoroughly cooked and consumed immediately after preparation.

Pack Necessary Baby Supplies

Pack any medications and other medical supplies that your baby uses regularly. These may be difficult to find at your destination. If necessary, keep asthma inhalers, allergy medication, and insulin on hand. Find out where the nearest hospital or medical care is at your destination before you go, especially if your baby has a chronic health condition.


“Write down your baby’s medical history; having this available in an emergency can assist healthcare workers in making more informed decisions,” says Hewlett.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance, offering you a range of options at affordable rates including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, your budget, and your lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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