After homeschooling and sheltering in place for months, you’re ready to hit the road for a little summer rest and relaxtion. It’s important to remember that even though some restrictions have been lifted, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. So, you’ll need a few new travel habits this summer.
Here are some tips from the Academy of Allergy and Asthma in Primary Care to help you navigate traveling with kids during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Children often explore through touch, making contaminated surfaces a particular concern. Try to see the world through your child’s exploring eyes. This will help you to anticipate areas and surfaces that will draw your child’s attention.
- If your child is old enough, teach them the importance of keeping their hands off of items in public areas.
- When traveling, avoid common areas that get a lot of traffic. It’s simple, the more people-traffic, the more opportunity for contaminated surfaces and possible COVID-19 exposure.
- Schedule frequent handwashing breaks and use hand sanitizer after leaving common areas.
- Lead by example. Let your children see you happily following the same rules. This alone will decrease COVID-19 related anxiety and increase their adoption of these simple safety practices.
If your child or a member of your family is at higher risk, you’ll need to increase safety measures. Be sure to consult with your primary care physician to discuss the pros and cons of traveling. They know your unique needs and are your best line of defense.
- Restrict your travel party to those you have had daily contact with over the last several months.
- Avoid mass transportation like planes, trains, and ships. Travel by car if at all possible.
- Avoid large groups.
- When seeing a relative, avoid the temptation to hug and kiss.
- Limit your family’s exposure to high-traffic common areas like hotel lobbies, tourist attractions and gathering places.
- Practice physical distancing and wear a face covering. Maintain a 6-foot perimeter and avoid letting someone inside that perimeter for more than six minutes.
Make a plan before each travel stop, considering the safest way to interact with each environment to best maintain your health. Every family is unique, as is each trip, but these new travel practices will be important to incorporate for the foreseeable future.
Dr. David Reichert, CCRA, is President of the Board of Directors for the Academy of Allergy and Asthma in Primary Care.