Traveling with your baby during COVID

 Traveling with your baby during COVID

Traveling with a baby is difficult and even more difficult in times of COVID. In non-COVID times, most doctors suggest that you do not expose your baby to illnesses, especially in the first few weeks and months. This is because the smaller they are, the more vulnerable they are to diseases and viruses. Traveling with a baby during COVID is possible but needs to be done with caution. On the positive side, few infants have been infected with COVID, and those who have been infected have mild or asymptomatic cases only.

Questions that you should consider when traveling during times of COVID are as follows: 

  • Is COVID-19 spreading fast in the place where you are planning on going?

  • Are the people who you will be traveling with more susceptible to COVID?

  • Will you be within a distance of six feet of other people during and after your trip?

  • Traveling includes flying, road trips, and staying at hotels. Let’s take a look at what you need to do in different situations:

    • Traveling by air - The airlines are taking huge steps to help reduce the transmission of the virus on airplanes and airports. But keep in mind that each airline and airport is different, and you will be in close contact with many people at the airport and on the aircraft. On the bright side, the risk of contracting the virus in an air-circulated and filtered cabin is lower. This is because most airlines use a similar kind of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter as used in hospitals to remove viruses from the air.
    • Traveling by road – If you are traveling with your family on a road trip, then it is generally considered safe. But be aware of the rules and restrictions in each state. You must also take precautions at gas stations. Try and carry dry food for your baby and your family so that you have the least amount of contact as possible at restaurants and gas stations.

    • Staying at a hotel – Hotels are generally filled with people who come from different places and stay for different lengths of time. Wearing a mask at all times and maintaining physical distance when you are in public spaces like the elevators, lobby, or restaurant will help to reduce your risk.

    When traveling with your baby during COVID, some of the tips that you should keep in mind are as follows:

    • Before you fly out, find out about your airline, including the boarding policies and seating selection. Some flights ask you to choose your seat once you board, but other flights allow you to book it for free until it is almost full. 
    • Find out about the screening and check-in before you reach your local airport.

    • Carry extra masks and wear a mask at all times other than when drinking or eating. If your baby is over the age of two, get extra child masks for them. When traveling by air, eat before you travel so that you don’t have to eat while at the airport. 
    • If your baby is small enough to be carried in an infant carrier seat, it would be a good idea to purchase one so that you can use it on the plane. This way, you limit the surfaces your baby comes in contact with. Have plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer ready with you at all times.

    • Take extra food and snacks for your baby. A few days before traveling, try and get your baby used to drinking room temperature milk so that you don’t have to warm it en route. 
    • Avoid carrying tiny toys that can fall on the floor.

    • You can even consider purchasing a portable UV pacifier sterilizer for sterilizing the pacifier in case it touches other surfaces. A travel kettle is convenient to carry as well. You can use this to sterilize baby bottles in hotel rooms.

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