Summertime is family vacation time. While you’re packing up your belongings you should think about having a medical list.  First on the list should be doctors, ER’s, and 24 hour clinics that accept your Health Plans.  Hopefully, you won’t need any of those services but if someone became ill you don’t want to be spending time on your cell phone calling your insurance carrier to find out which facility you can use or what provider will accept a co-pay from you and bill your insurance company for the balance.  When paying the bills before you leave, don’t forget to pay the monthly Heath Insurance Premiums. Be sure to read your insurance policy and if you have a High Deductible Health Plan make sure you understand what and if anything is covered before you meet the deductible.  Prescription medication should also be refilled and make sure you have enough while you are away.

Traveling outside of the U.S.?  It’s very likely that your family pediatrician is not licensed in Paris should you need an antibiotic.  Always check with the State Department before you leave to check if there are any travelers warnings issued.  Should you need to visit an emergency room or hospital while out of the country, remember that the visit most likely will not be covered.  Be sure to get a report from the facility (in English) before you leave. You may also want to think about purchasing travelers medical insurance for the duration of your trip.

Health Day has some great suggestions from Dr. Hannah Chow, Loyola University Health System pediatrician and assistant professor in the pediatrics department at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine on how to keep the kids from being bored and driving you crazy.  “No matter how fun or exciting the destination, the process of getting there can be downright boring for kids, but the cure for boredom is variety.  In preparing for a trip, parents can purchase inexpensive games, books and new toys at a local dollar store.  Bring books, movies, games, toys, and don’t forget extra batteries and chargers, or when the power fades you’ll have some very upset kids.  It’s always a good idea to pack extra headsets as well because these are easily broken or lost,” said Chow.

Dr. Chow also suggested packing healthy snacks in a cooler for road trips like fruit, chopped vegetables, drinks, crackers, sandwiches and fruit snacks.  Travel by plane is a little more challenging.  Suggestions are cereal, granola bars, fruit snacks and roll ups, oranges and trail mix.

A First Aid kit should be assembled before leaving home and should include:

  • •OTC medications for pain, fever and colds
  • •Bandages and tissue
  • •Motion sickness for kids 10 and older
  • •Itch erasers, found in convenience stores, for mosquito bites
  • •Hydrocortisone cream for itchy rashes
  • •Sunscreen
  • •Bug spray
  • •Powdered electrolyte solution


Last but not least…. have a great time!