Family Cruise Vacations - Helping Kids To Keep Well - By: Martin Haworth
Many families are taking cruise vacations these days. The various cruise lines have taken on board (if you will forgive the pun!), that there is a market out there. And several of them are playing the family cruise vacation card these days.
So, if you are considering this for the next time the family go on vacation, what might you need to consider - and, above all, what will it be important to pack, particularly when you have your kids along, to ensure that everyone has a good time?
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Depending on the age of the kids going on the family cruise vacation, there will be some best practices to make sure that they stay well during the trip. It's always better to prevent illness, wherever possible, than it is to get into the realms of treatment.
That said, if anyone is going to be sick on vacation, a cruise ship is probably one of the better places, as they pretty well always have excellent facilities to fix you up - and that includes your kids.
Three key areas:-
1) Tummy troubles
Number one issue on any vacation, just as often as a family cruise vacation, is the irritating sickness and diarrhoea that can happen anytime.
Often caused by little more than a change in the chemical balance of the water we drink, these illnesses can be debilitating and need close attention. The rule is the younger or older we are, the more likely the effects are to be severe.
The easiest prevention is to avoid anything that might trigger an upset by drinking plenty of simple fluid. Seafoods, rich and spicy dishes are the most likely foods that can cause problems. Drinking bottled water may help too.
On a family cruise vacation, you need to pack some essentials for kids. The very best thing you can ensure that you have are rehydration salts. Basically, sickness and more particularly diarrhoea prevent the absorption of fluids back into the body, which is how we normally keep the right fluid balance.
When this is not working, due to some bug, overheating or eating something that 'didn't agree with you', kids and elderly especially need to get that balance rectified as soon as possible. So take some rehydration sachets that you can buy from any pharmacy and give small amounts frequently.
If in any doubts, particularly with young children, checkout the sick bay onboard sooner rather than later.
A great family cruise vacation will, hopefully, find everyone enjoying a bit of sun, which is great for any trip. In fact absorbing the sun's rays is good for our health as it promotes the body to make Vitamin D, which is valuable.
Trouble is it is easy to get too much sun. When onboard, it is easy to get burnt unless you make a real effort to get protected. This is for three particular reasons:-
- There may be a breeze on the ocean, which masks the strong rays of the sun. You feel a cooling wind, which stops you feeling the sun as much - then it's easy to burn, esp[ecially for children whose awareness is not yet fine tuned.
- Secondly, there is a lot of reflected light that comes off the ocean and bounces burning rays upwards.
- Finally, children's skin is especially susceptible to sun damage, whether on a ship on the ocean or otherwise.
It's vital to get protected well, with a very high factor and keep protected. Then a nasty attack of sunburn will be avoided.
If burnt, always seek good medical advice. Sunburn is no different from any other burn and can easily lead to serious consequences. Drink plenty of fluid as damaged skin loses fluid far more easily than usual. Seek medical advice early if in any doubt.
3) Travel Sickness
Generally modern cruise liners are very well stabilized, so it's not that common to have sea-sickness. The routes plied on family cruise vacations are not those where you might expect a rough journey (though it can happen!).
That said, susceptible folk may feel ill even if the ride is on an ocean that's as smooth as a millpond, so it might be best to take precautions, especially if you know that one of your kids is likely to feel a bit queasy.
You pharmacist will be able to advise you what is available where you come from. One thing that can often work really well are little wrist bands that you can get that have a little dimple on them, facing inwards onto a pressure point on the wrist.
These are non-invasive and non-ingested, so are a lot less likely to cause side-effects. Often available in attractive colors for kids, they might be a solution to a problem that never gets it's feet wet, because you nipped it in the bud!
Everyone wants a relaxing time when away, so for a great family cruise vacation, have a think about the best ways to ensure everyone, including the kids, feels well too.
Always check with your medical advisor before taking the actions suggested or implied in this article.
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