Updated: Oct 27, 2021
Traveling with children during the COVID-19 outbreak is pretty challenging. As this is the prime vacation time, kids would want to go on a trip before school starts again. COVID-19 has affected thousands of children, and apart from this, multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in kids is another condition children are facing during this pandemic.
In the U.S., vaccines are not available for children under the age of 12. This makes them more vulnerable to contracting the virus. Further, traveling with unvaccinated children can bring stress to the parents. Currently, it is not safe to travel, especially when the highly contagious Delta variant is in effect. CDC advises delaying the travel plans until one is completely vaccinated. If vaccinated parents have to travel with their unvaccinated kids, then there is a lot of things to be considered, which are as follows:
Wear a face mask when in a public area or any public transportation.
Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol or wash hands with soap.
Practice social distancing. Keep at least 6 feet away from others.
Also, before setting off for traveling, parents need to check the COVID-19 spread rates of the place they plan to visit. If the rate is higher, then more precautions should be taken. Apart from this, parents must keep extra masks and sanitizers, and other toiletries essentials.
It is advisable that they avoid crowds as much as possible and only contact the member of the household or with fully vaccinated people.
What are safe trips for unvaccinated children?
There is no doubt that there are high chances of people getting exposed to the virus when they travel as compared to their daily lives.
According to the CDC, if parents go out of the U.S. with kids, then in order to re-enter the U.S., parents along with the children are required to have a negative test report. Whether the person is vaccinated or not, one has to show proof of a negative COVID test report.
People can travel in three ways:
By train and buses
It is apparent that air travel and traveling on bus or train would be more dangerous as compared to car travel. As for flights, trains, or buses, people need to spend time at airport terminals and in security lines, so one can easily encounter viruses in such areas.
The risk can be reduced by choosing flights with the fewest stops, wearing masks and not touching any surface unnecessarily, or using hand sanitizer if one has to touch the surface. Although, it is better to travel by car because then the family will have no exposure to other people. Also, there will be fewer meals and rest breaks, which ultimately means limited exposure. Thus, car travel is the safest option for unvaccinated children.
What kinds of gatherings are safe right now with unvaccinated children?
First thing first, if people are fully vaccinated, they can feel safe and spend time with others who are also fully vaccinated. They still need to continue to be cautious and wear masks. Those who are not vaccinated yet, need to take all the precautions, such as wearing masks, using hand sanitizers, and practicing social distancing. Now, when it comes to unvaccinated kids, gatherings can be unsafe, especially the crowd, during this pandemic.
Parents need to make sure they take their kids to a place with a lesser crowd. In fact, parents can take their kids camping, but at the same time, they should avoid sharing tents or cabins with other people. Also, they must continue using face masks and keeping at least 6 feet in distance from others.
As mentioned previously, gatherings are not safe for kids, so parents have to make sure they keep their kids moving with low-risk activities such as:
And other similar activities that do not require more people around. These kinds of activities are safe right now for unvaccinated children. Also, parents must keep in mind to avoid narrow paths or crowded sidewalks to keep their kids from coming in contact with other people.
How does the destination affect the risk?
The destination can highly increase the risk of getting the infection. It is important to check the vaccination rates in the destination by using the CDC site. As people stay in hotels or multi-guest lodgings, they can never know who is vaccinated and who is not. Staying at such places is not safe. Apart from this, people should avoid sharing spaces like hostels and avoid sharing bathrooms. Moreover, hotels and other sharing places will have their restaurants. Parents need to make sure to avoid eating inside restaurants where people are not wearing masks, and where social distancing is not possible. They can try bringing their own foods or use a drive-thru so that they can come in contact with minimum people.
One can stay with the family in a vacation rental to lower the risk of connecting with other people. It would be best if the parents could travel with their kids to the place where their relatives or friends live. The reason is, parents will know if their families are fully vaccinated or not. And if they are then, it would be safe to stay at their home when they travel to another place.
Centric Healthcare Have Knowledgeable Nurses and Clinical Personnel That’ll Help You with COVID Safety and Precautions
Traveling for kids is not safe for now because COVID-19 vaccines are not available for children below 12 years of age. So parents can delay their traveling if possible. There is still urgency and parents have to travel with their kids for many reasons. It is important that they must know about the safety and precautions. At Centric Healthcare, we have highly knowledgeable staff that can help parents understand the necessary COVID safety and precautions they can consider while traveling with their unvaccinated kids. There is no doubt that kids are at greater risk of contracting infections, especially since the delta variant came into existence. So, parents have to be knowledgeable about the steps they can take to keep their children safe. Our skilled nurses and clinical personnel will help parents with all the information and knowledge so that they can take better care of kids while on the go.