Being Away From Home

Being Away From Home

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KIDS

Sleepovers, camp, and overnight field trips are a fun part of childhood. But as a parent, you may be a little worried about your children traveling without you. Good communication and preparation can put your mind at ease. The secret of successful travel for everyone is all in the planning.

Preparing Your Child

Here’s a checklist to review with your child to help him or her prepare for sleepovers, overnight field trips, and other activities away from home.

  • I know my diagnosis and how to treat my bleeding disorder.
  • I know to speak up and tell the chaperone if I have a bleed or if I am in pain.
  • I am wearing my medical alert jewelry.
  • I am carrying my Emergency Kit with an extra dose of medicine and have a copy of the Travel Letter.

Keeping Medicine Safe

Your child’s medications, medical supplies, or other equipment and devices are exempt from baggage limits — so you may wish to pack them separately to simplify the inspection process at airports and other travel locations. Be mindful of any products that should not be exposed to x-rays. You have the right to request that your items be physically inspected rather than x-rayed.

Your child’s factor products should never be packed in checked luggage since temperature fluctuations in baggage compartments may affect factor potency and rough handling of luggage could result in containers being broken or lost. You may prefer to send larger quantities of medications or supplies to your destination by mail. Remember to clearly label all carry-on medications, supplies, or equipment. Pack extra medicine and supplies in case you are delayed when traveling to or from your destination. Your Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) will have more information about special handling or transport services for sending large quantities of factor.

For Your Child’s Carry-On

Your child’s carry-on is a great place for fragile items, or things that you wouldn’t want to be without in the event that his or her luggage goes missing or is delayed. Remember to take necessary amounts of:

  • Factor
  • Diluent
  • A reconstitution device with all of the necessary needles
  • Syringes
  • Alcohol and cotton pads
  • Disinfectant
  • A sharps container

Try to anticipate your child’s needs during travel by considering:

  • The type and severity of the bleeding disorder.
  • The type of bleed that your child typically experiences.
  • The climate in the places that your child will be visiting.
  • The length of travel.
  • Accommodations during travel.
  • If a Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) will be nearby.

Don’t Leave Home Without a Travel Letter

As a safety precaution, travel with your child’s prescription and a Travel Letter. You may obtain a letter stating your child’s medical needs from his or her primary care physician or Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC). You may also notify your airline or travel agent in advance should your child require extra assistance at the airport when going through screening and check-in. Medications and medical supplies are exempt from luggage and carry on restrictions, so a travel letter will enable the transportation security officials to verify that your child’s carry-on items are not prohibited.

For a copy of a sample letter, go to Travel Letter.

Be Prepared for International Travel

Work with your Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) when preparing for international travel and make sure treatment is available at your final destination. Bring enough medicine for the time that you plan to be away from home. Be certain to bring your insurance card and check to see if your insurance covers you in the country where you’ll be traveling. Consider carrying a flash drive with important medical and contact information as well as hospital locations along your travel route, Travel Letter, prescriptions, health insurance information, and any other relevant medical information. Have your child wear a medical identification bracelet in case of emergency. Consider having your Travel Letter translated if your child will be in a country where your native language is not spoken.

Consider Necessary Immunizations

Your child’s primary care physician will know what immunizations he or she will need when traveling abroad. Because your family will be more likely to be exposed to unfamiliar germs when traveling, take all the necessary precautions to avoid a travel-related illness.

To learn more about vaccinations when traveling abroad, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travelers’ Health.