Sensational Kidz: Preparing Your Child For Vacation

Pediatric Health The Newsletter About Taking Care Of The Ones That Matter Most

“HowShould I Plan For A Successful VacationWithMy Children?” April 2018 EFFECTIVE TIPSONVACATIONINGWITHYOUR CHILDREN

The Key to Success: Plan Ahead! Planning your vacation ahead of time is the only way to ensure that you will have the accommodations you need for everyone to have a good time. Think of your schedule at home. So much of what helps a special needs child have a good day is repetition and predictability. When you remove “home” from the equation, you are automatically removing familiarity. Keeping as much of the schedule in-tact as possible will help your child thrive. As great as it may be to fly by the seat of your pants and to go where the wind takes you, this is not ideal for a child with special needs, and if your child is unhappy, you are not likely to enjoy your vacation. The best thing to do for everyone involved is to plan everything ahead of time. Know where you are going, where you are staying, where you can eat, what you are doing, what time you’ll be done and what you’ll need to accommodate everyone in your family to ensure that you all have a great time, wherever you end up. Take Medical Precautions Once you know what to expect, consult your child’s physician. Being prepared means having a long list of contingencies. Before leaving town you need to check with your child’s pediatrician and ensure that you have all of the following: • A list of any prescription drugs your child is taking, with a copy of each prescription in case you need more or you need to show someone proof • A physician’s description of your child’s condition, which will be helpful in the event you need to seek emergency care • Phone numbers, e-mail addresses or any other necessary contact information for your child’s physician, as well as the best numbers to call in the place you are going. Ask your child’s doctor for a recommendation in case you need care on the road. Of course, make sure that you have your health insurance cards and phone numbers. If you are traveling overseas, you may want to investigate travel insurance that would expedite your access to medical care at your destination. Pack, and then Pack More It is a good idea when you are traveling with any children to over-pack, but this is especially important when preparing for a vacation with your special needs child. Think of contingencies, consider emergencies, and always be prepared for the worst. One good idea is to pack a separate

emergency bag that has essentials in it, and to keep it with you as you travel. If you rent a car, keep this smaller duffle with you instead of having everything in the hotel.That way, if you need to seek emergency care you won’t find yourself racing around an unknown city trying to gather the belongings you need to care for your child. Finally, keep in mind that a family vacation is for the entire family. You don’t need to pick a spot that is tailored to your special needs child, you just need to think about what you and your family will need to do in order to keep everyone in the family happy and healthy throughout your stay. Go for happiness and comfort over perfection. Planning a vacation like this can be very stressful, so keep that in mind and try to plan outings for yourself that will help you have a good time while you are away from the office, too. Make arrangements ahead of time for child-care with someone who is capable of caring for your special needs child and make the most of an evening or day seeing the sites and enjoying yourself away from the kids, then jump back into enjoying your family time with gusto. Having the right attitude and being willing to do a little extra work in the best interest of your children will help your vacation go off just right. Sources special-needs-travel

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