Traveling with kids in the months ahead? The immune systems of children are less developed than adults, so it makes sense to take some extra precautions.

Here are five to consider:

Wash those hands

Simple and effective, it’s the No. 1 way to avoid illness. When out and about it’s important to wash hands well and often. Use warm, soapy water and scrub-a-dub for at least 20 seconds. That can seem like a long time for youngsters so some families use the duration of a short song or poem to help kids determine how long is long enough. Use alcohol-based (at least 60 percent) hand sanitizer as a backup strategy.

The extra step

Airplane tray tables and armrests, public restrooms and hotel room surfaces don’t always get cleaned and disinfected properly. Use hand sanitizer to wipe down these high touch areas (including the hotel room television remote) before you and your kids settle in. Use a hand towel or tissue to turn faucets on and off and to open door handles in high-traffic restrooms.

Bring your own

It can be an extra hassle but it’s best to bring small pillows or pillow covers and blankets rather than counting on sanitized supplies on board your next flight. Buy bottled water or bring refillable bottle and fill up before boarding the flight to stay hydrated. Whenever possible, bring healthy snacks to enjoy onboard.

Be a vampire

For your protection and that of fellow passengers, teach the kids how to sneeze or cough into their elbow (mimicking a vampire pulling his cape in front of his face.) If you find yourself seated next to or near a sick passenger, it’s appropriate to ask your flight attendant to move if there are other seats available.

Be informed

When traveling to different regions of the country or outside the U.S. do your research to determine which precautions, vaccines or additional steps might be necessary. Consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s information for travelers to see what recommendations are provided for your destination.


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