Today we welcome a post by Dr. Girone. Dr. Girone is a retired board-certified pediatrician. He and his wife joined the DVC in 1991 and have visited WDW for over forty years.
When you are packing for the family to go to Florida for a Disney vacation, the excitement builds. This may be a good time to consider the unpleasant thought of a bump in the road in your child’s health during the time you are away from home.
Reviewing some strategies and planning to bring some items with you could help lessen the problem of an unplanned illness for your toddler to teen.
Most families do well with some anticipation of common medical problems. Sensible preventive actions and readiness for minor interruptions will result in a vacation that is more fun than stressful.
Here are five tips for keeping your kids healthy in Disney World.
1 – Hydrate
The first three strategies for the kids are hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate.
Any time of the year, drinking water will help protect against all of the problems associated with dehydration. Supervising the kids with drinking, drinking, and drinking includes monitoring the non-water drinks and refilling their water bottles. Each child should have a refillable water bottle.
Free water refills are available at the water fountains usually located near the restrooms in the Disney parks. Avoid pricey water in plastic bottles and help the environment if possible.
2 – Sanitize
The next strategy is to include hand sanitizers or wipes in the child’s park backpack. Most germ exposure is from hand contact with public objects, not air born. Hand washing after using the restroom is mandatory.
In general, only Disney’s Animal Kingdom restrooms have doors so you may want to suggest a wipe after your child uses those restrooms and touches the door upon exiting. Most attractions in the Disney parks have lap bars or areas to hold during the ride. Hand cleaning is a good practice after each ride. There are bars to hold on buses, monorails and on boat transportation. Encourage hand cleaning reminders along with those hydration times.
3 – Immunize
Up to date immunizations will give peace of mind and offer prevention of some serious problems. Get a yearly flu vaccine especially when the trip to the Disney area is during the “flu season”.
There are more cases this year in the US of measles and mumps. The vaccines for these diseases would eliminate any parental concern when on vacation. Tetanus is not a likely threat, but keep that tetanus vaccine current. A skinned knee or a minor cut can happen.
4 – Repel
Other items for the backpack are sunscreen and bug repellant. Sunscreen in Florida? Duh! Why buy it? You have it at home, so throw it in the backpack.
You have bug repellant for those dusk mosquitoes and bees on the picnic. Walt Disney World has good insect control methods that are environmentally safe but planning some extra protection won’t hurt.
5 – Medicate
Bring along all routine medications used for your children such as those for fever (don’t forget their favorite thermometer), runny nose, cough, or itch. Why buy Tylenol on vacation if you have it at home?
Keep those ear drops handy for swimmers’ ear, too. These things are usually very portable and will make your life easier if you have them available when you need them.
What do you do to keep your kid(s) healthy in Disney World?