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How To Travel Safely With Kids Right Now

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or automobile, there are extra precautions you can take to protect your family.

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At a time when people are still anxious about traveling, especially with young ones, pediatric infectious disease expert Dr. Brenda Anosike, M.D., shares her tips on how parents and caretakers can make traveling with children of all ages as safe as possible.

Get a flu shot before traveling. This is always a good idea, but especially when traveling now, as flu season begins. “Update annual influenza vaccines so that flu does not complicate the picture,” Anosike advises.Shutterstock

Opt for a medical-grade mask. “Depending on the age/size of your child, a cloth mask may be worn over the medical mask to improve the fit on your child's face, but the cloth mask should not be worn alone,” Anosike says.

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Keep snack breaks on the plane short. “Make sure you sanitize everyone’s hands first, then briefly remove your child’s mask during the meal and quickly replace it properly when they are done,” Anosike says.

Consider taking a road trip instead of flying, especially if your kid struggles with mask-wearing (or is under 2 years old and cannot wear one). Just keep in mind that kids should be masked when visiting gas stations and rest stops. Catherine Falls Commercial, Getty images
Mask up inside. “When indoors, we would generally recommend that all persons, vaccinated and unvaccinated, should be masked unless an individual is with their household pod. For unvaccinated children, masks are one major level of protection for themselves and others.” Mehmet Hilmi Barcin, Getty images

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Be strict about hand hygiene. Your child is probably well-acquainted with hand sanitizer and washing their hands to “Happy Birthday,” but it’s important to keep hand hygiene frequent, especially when traveling.


This greatly reduces the chance of getting Covid-19, and vaccinated individuals “likely have lower viral levels even if they had [an] infection,” Anosike says. Currently, kids 12 and up are eligible for vaccination, and younger kids may be soon.

Socialize outside whenever possible. “The evidence shows that disease transmission is very low with outdoor activities, unlike indoor activities where risk is highest in proximity of sick individuals,” Anosike says.Aleksandar Nakic, Getty images

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Set expectations with your kids ahead of time. "For each family unit, shared decisions and expectations will depend on overall risk tolerance as well as cultural and family values," says Anosike. Get everyone on the same page about things like hugging and masking.

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