I love the idea of Family Day! Not just because it provides us with an extra day “off” (although that’s a bonus), but rather, it provides us with a dedicated day to spend quality time with our family. How this day is celebrated differs from one family to the next. Some people will stay local to spend time with their immediate and extended family. For others, it is a great time to travel abroad. We’re actually planning a trip just before Family Day this February. We’re heading to Costa Rica which will be a perfect break from the cold winter of Toronto, and a great way to enjoy quality time together as a family.
When it comes to family travel, parents spend a lot of time preparing for their vacation. This includes figuring out what to pack, getting travel insurance and keeping the family healthy leading up to the big day. There’s nothing worse than having your kids or spouse, or even yourself, get sick right before a much-needed break. However, just as bad, is getting sick when you return from vacation. What parents may not consider, but is just as important, is what sicknesses they may bring home with them from their travel. Travel-related illnesses are common and vary in severity, so it is extremely important to be prepared. Part of the preparation is ensuring that your entire family is properly vaccinated, especially if you travel abroad or plan on visiting grandparents or newborns.
Get Vaccinated Before You Travel
Getting vaccinated is important for the safety and well-being of your own kids and family, but it’s also important for the general public too. There are many kids who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons or babies who are too young to get vaccinated so they rely on herd immunity to protect them from illnesses. Also, if too many people delay or refuse vaccines, more cases of serious diseases can be spread.
While deadly diseases like smallpox have been eliminated and cases of measles, rubella and others have been drastically reduced, some of these diseases still exist today in countries around the world. All the more important to get the vaccination before traveling abroad. In fact, I remember that we wanted to travel when our oldest son Kyle was born. Our doctor recommended that we wait at least until he’s two months and has received his first set of vaccines. Even though we only planned on traveling within Canada (flying from Toronto to Edmonton to visit family), he still felt that this precaution was important. That is why we have always made sure to adhere to the vaccination schedule and I’m proud to say that all three of our boys have received their recommended vaccinations on time!
Whether your plans have you visiting relatives locally or have you flying south, I encourage you to ensure that vaccination is part of your travel checklist. Make sure you are sticking to the vaccination schedule which is available on Ontario.ca/vaccines. If you’re not certain whether or not your children have received all of their vaccinations, make sure to check with your doctor before you travel.
While sun-tans, souvenirs and unforgettable memories are great things to bring back with you after a family vacation, an unnecessary, and potentially dangerous illness is not!
Disclosure: This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions are my own.