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Traveling With Children
Monday, March 15, 2010 | Marilyn McFarlane

If you have a child with a health problem or condition, you’re well aware that a trip with the family has to include whatever medications might be needed. You know it’s important to tuck in emergency advice and the doctor’s name and contact numbers, as well.  One thing less commonly included, but should be, even for those with no apparent medical issues, is a travel version of your child’s Personal Health Record. 

Packing a PHR along with other documents is a good idea (and can be a life-saver) for any traveler, and is especially smart for people on the road with children, as their needs can’t always be clearly explained.  As a travel writer, I sometimes encounter parents who are savvy in many ways but have never thought to carry up-to-date lists of their kids’ medical histories.  You hope they won’t be needed, but if they are, you’re very glad you brought them along.

Items on the list should include:
- Name and birth date and place
- Physicians and dentists names, along with their contact information.
- Health insurance information
- Vaccinations and immunizations, with dates
- Any important test results from physical or dental exams
- Blood type

Also include, if appropriate:
- Allergies and sensitivities, with pictures of foods or drugs to be avoided, if you’ll be in a place where you don’t speak the language
- All medications and supplements being used, with the brands and amounts
- Special dietary needs
- Documents with specialists’ advice
- Eyeglass prescriptions
- Action plan in case of asthma attack or other condition
- Any chronic condition and how it should be treated

For additional travel advice and information, check, and scroll down to Traveling With Children.

Marilyn McFarlane is a long-time travel writer, the author of guidebooks and articles for print and online media. She is a staff writer for Europe Up Close.
Marilyn blogs at Lighthearted Travel, and can be reached via her website,

Tags   emergency, medication, parents, insurance, travelers

About This Blog

Welcome to the Traveler’s PHR blog – a communication forum and social network to connect you with health information management professionals and other travelers for the exchange of ideas and information for managing your personal health information to prepare for the best healthcare while traveling. If you ever wondered what might happen if you get sick or even became unconscious while traveling outside of your home town and what you might do to prepare for such an event, then you’re in the right place. As this blog grows, we invite you to share your own advice and travel stories and learn from other travelers about their experiences.

Blog Contributors

Marsha Dolan, Valerie Watzlaf, Cindy Boester, Heidi Shaffer, Julie Wolter, Margaret Hennings, Colleen Goethals, Vera Rulon, Leah Grebner, Robert Caban, Mynilma Olivera-Vazquez, Amanda Bushey, Margie Kelly, Donna DuLong, Sarah Dietze, Valisha McFarlane, Maria Kovell, Ted Eytan, Leann Reynolds, Laura Heuer, Kristin Stewart, Derek Allen, Chris Matthies, Margo Corbett, Craig Newmark, Sarah Buelterman, Skyler Tanner, Aniruddha Malpani, Joan Malling, Marilyn McFarlane, Megan Rooney, Patrick Rhone, Dr. Carrie Nelson, Maria Bouselli, Erin Jordan


PHRs do more than manage medication. Stay up to date with information that can help you communicate with your doctor and stay out of the hospital.

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