Have Doctor, Will Travel

And we’ve made it back from our trip to see the Grandparents! Summer holidays are a mixed bag, aren’t they? On one hand, aren’t we super lucky to have the flexibility and means to travel across the Channel and see family and friends? And on the other hand, who in her right mind drags 3 small children anywhere? Think about it. I am one woman with 2 arms. The kids’ dad has a couple of arms, as far as I can tell, but, well, you know. Which means it’s mostly me packing luggage, loading kids into airplanes, hooking up rented car seats and handling all the little details that pollute what seems like an otherwise wonderful idea. Yet I do it anyway. For the love of travel, family and friends.

We had a great time. I really have to admire the kids for how adaptable they are. I’ve dragged these little ones around the world and back again. That’s just part of living thousands of miles away from your family. But it’s what they are used to. So without blinking an eye, those kids whip through security, buckle up on airplanes and manage to fall asleep in strange beds without too much of a fuss. Unfortunately, though, they are still children. Which means all of the bumps and bruises that happen at home happen when we are away. And that brings us to today’s topic: What does Dr. Zibners pack in her little bag of doctor tricks when traveling with children?

You want to know, don’t you? What are the things I tuck into my suitcase to limit the chance I’ll wind up in a strange country trying to act out the word, “Ibuprofen?” Well, start there. At least 1 bottle of age-appropriate pain and fever medicine. Ditto for an antihistamine, like Benadryl or Zyrtec. Bandages in various shapes and sizes. Tweezers (splinters!!!). A tube of hydrocortisone. One more of Neosporin. And there you have it. At least as far as what you, the non-medical parent can pack. My kit actually includes a few other things, like skin glue and antibiotics. But for these goodies, you’ll have to go to medical school, which might not be practical. It’s actually kind of handy, I must say. Bringing a pediatrician along. But for those of you who can’t, at least pack the basics!

So, did we use any of it? Oh you bet your shiny boots we did. Zoe got stung by a bee and Otto routinely ran into things/fell off things. (The kid actually chipped his tooth on this trip. Tiled floor + newly walking toddler = dental injury.) I’ll go into more detail about both of those dramas another day. But back to the story, the baby spent two days throwing up with a fever and the girls became obsessed with Doc McStuffins and needed to bandage pretty much everything. So yes, the majority of my doctor kit was on full display this holiday. Which means I need to restock before we head off on our next trip, this time with my family. The cousins arrive this week and I’ve got to pack supplies not just for 3 little kids, but for 5. (Holy help me.)

Traveling with kids brings its challenges. And joys. It’s not always appropriate for very young babies, as you can see from my post this week at Shot of Prevention. But when you can, what a gift to give your children: the chance to see new places and learn about new things. So long as they stay safe and healthy. Which reminds me, I’ve forgotten to mention the most important thing in my suitcase that keeps us happy, healthy and away from hotel doctors:

SUNSCREEN. Bottles of it.