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Here's What You Need To Know When Travelling With Unvaccinated Children

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Ili  •  Jul 30, 2021

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While people across the globe are getting their COVID-19 vaccinations, one particular group that is exempted from this are children, namely those aged 12 and under. It'll take a while before the appropriate vaccines are developed for them but as travel becomes more possible with the reopening of borders, we're sure that there are plenty of families who wish to go on that much-deserved vacation with their kids. If you happen to be one of them, keep reading to find out more below!

Travelling With Unvaccinated Children: What To Know

Is it safe to travel with an unvaccinated child?

Parents or guardians travelling with a child should consider several factors before going on a vacation - especially to ones abroad. According to Mark Hicar, MD, PhD, associate professor of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York, it is important to take into account the rate of COVID-19 cases in the intended destination as well as making sure that the location adheres to proper safety and hygiene measures such as social distancing. In short, extensive research and planning is needed to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones!

 What are the best and safest options when travelling with an unvaccinated child? 

According to Health, experts generally agree that a road trip is the safest way to travel since you won't have to come into contact with a lot of people during the journey. It is essentially akin to travelling in your living room! Simply make sure to arm yourself with hand sanitizers, wet wipes and masks when getting off at rest stops. With that being said, it doesn't mean you should rule out flying completely. If it means avoiding 'hotspots' on the road, it's better to hop on a plane. Aim for a direct flight and if possible, stick to domestic travel over international travel. P.S. For air travel, check out these airlines with the best COVID-19 safety ratings!

What type of activities are safe during travel?

 A general rule of thumb to remember is this: Being outdoors is safer than being indoors. When you're indoors, there's an increase of potential exposure since the virus can hang in the air for some time as opposed to the outdoors where the virus disperses a lot more quickly. This is not to say that being outside is entirely safe. It's definitely not the case if you're hanging around crowds of people for an extended period of time who aren't masked or vaccinated. 

How else can we lower the risk of infection when travelling with unvaccinated children?

Unfortunately, there isn't a guaranteed answer as every situation is different. Parents and guardians will have to weigh the risks and make their own decisions. At this point in time, vaccination is the only thing that can be used to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19. Other than that, travellers should remain vigilant and adhere to hygiene measures by wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding crowded areas with high risk infection.
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