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Written by: Jara Negrin

In addition to Covid, a slew of inopportune viruses and bacterias can ruin a well planned family vacay. While these nasty bugs are essentially invisible to us, somehow it seems that they can see our kids coming from a mile away. They position themselves strategically, where sticky fingers unknowingly pick them up and bring them right into easy access points in little ones’ mouths and noses. Hello cold and flu, goodbye relaxing and enjoyable trip.

To combat this, it’s key to know the meds to have on hand when traveling with kids. First, though, try to keep as much of the bacteria at bay. It’s a must to travel with kid-friendly anti-bacterial wipes and sprays. We like all natural products from Honest and Baby Bum. Use gentle but effective wipes to wipe down surfaces like tabletops, high chairs and arm rests. Do double duty by wiping and spraying down little hands and fingers too.

For Aches, Pains and Fever

It’s never good when our kids spike a fever, but especially when the fam is just about to convene on a day of fun (and expensive pre-purchased amusement park tickets). This is the perfect reason to know the meds to have on hand when traveling with kids. If that’s the only symptom and they otherwise seem good to go, see what some children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen can do. Depending on what your kids tolerate, pack liquid, drops, chewables or powder to mix in water. We also like to have on hand gel cooling sheets–no refrigerator necessary. While these won’t fight off illness, they should make your child more comfy. Give it a couple of hours to gauge their demeanor (fever should come down pretty soon). If you are comfortable taking them out and about, then get a move on and don’t fret about time lost. Better late than never. If they still seem off, trust your spidey instincts and stay back. Know that other moms before you have made that brave decision and may even have silently thanked the gods that they too got to avoid the hours long lines.

For Teething

If the fever is because your tiny one is teething, or the popping out of those tiny but oh-so-sharp pearly whites is causing all kinds of crankiness, we feel you. Do not leave the house without teething gels and rings and silicone brushes. The above fever reducers do wonders for pain management too.

For Colds

When kids get stuffy noses, chests and heads, they can be all out miserable—and who can blame them? These pesky germs need time to work their way through your kids’ systems, but until then there are lots of meds to have on hand when traveling with kids to at least alleviate the symptoms for a few hours. For starters, of course, always check age safety and doses before giving your kids any meds. You might feel more confident with well known brands like Robitussin and Dimetapp. Or you might stick with certified natural or homeopathic products that are organic, vegan and gluten-free, try Genexa Kids’ Cold Crush and Hyland’s Natural Kids Cold and Cough and Hyland’s Naturals Baby Cough & Immune. We’re also fans of Xlear, an all natural child-friendly nasal spray (it moisturizes little dry noses too!) that can be used preventatively and to clear out congestion.

For babies, take along Boiron Cold Calm Liquid Doses. It’s best to stay away from any of those nighttime formulas if you’ve got a packed schedule, as they cause drowsiness for sure. But don’t think twice about using them at bedtime to hopefully guarantee a sound sleep for all. There are also meds to have on hand when traveling with kids that target “ouch” zones like ears and throats for almost immediate relief care like Similasan Kids Earache Relief and Burt’s Bees Kids Throat Soothing Pops. These downplay the symptoms and the discomfort pretty quickly.

For Upset Tummies

Tiny tummies are delicate and can turn foul from food that didn’t sit right, a too-fast or dizzying ride or a virus that’s parked itself. Any way it happens, the results are no fun. Relief from tummy-ache symptoms cannot come fast enough so be sure to know the right meds to have on hand when traveling with kids: Chews to combat sour stomachs like Alka-Seltzer for Kids are readily available; we also like all natural and clean products, of course, for belly-aches, gas and diarrhea, like Genexa Kids’ Tummy Relief and children’s DiaResQ. A main concern is to keep your child hydrated, with products that have electrolytes they might be losing from both ends like Kinderlyte Natural Electrolyte Powder.

There are times, though, when medicine won’t relieve symptoms. When diarrhea or vomiting lasts for more than a day or two, fever persists and coughing does not calm down. In those instances, look for a local pediatrician, pediatric urgent care or children’s hospital nearby. Likely it’s nothing serious, but it is always smart to err on the side of caution. It might just require a bit more than what’s in mom’s medical bag—and lots of extra special TLC.

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