Chickenpox hits Norwegian children on holiday abroad

chickenpoxChickenpox.Photo:European Travel Insurance

61 percent of Norwegian parents will bring their kids on holiday abroad this summer, according to a new survey. Not all of them get to accompany their parents on the plane  home.

52 percent of parents with children aged 0-12 years are going on holiday in Europe this summer. Nine percent of them are travelling to destinations outside Europe. This is revealed in a survey made by YouGov  for European insurance.

– Before the summer holidays, we get calls from parents looking forward to bringing their children on their holiday but who are also worried about what might happen. There are several things that are useful for you to know, in order to ensure that your vacation will not be ruined,  Emma Elisabeth Vennesland, Vice President of European Travel Insurance says.

Infected in charter

Some events are difficult to guard against. During the summer holidays  European Insurance get many cases where children have caught chickenpox during  the holiday abroad.

They have already been notified of some such instances .

– Chickenpox spreads easily, and many of the incidents occured at charter hotels where there are many children gathered in a relatively small area. Children get in close contact with other children through playing with them, and this means the virus spreads rapidly,  nurse Mari Holm Lien at European Travel Insurance says.

The child is contagious for two to three days before the rash erupts.This means that one child will have time to  infect many others before the disease is detected.

For a healthy child it as harmless getting chickenpox abroad as at home, but this still may lead to an unpleasant surprise to many children.

– Due to the risk of infection to other passengers,  most airlines refuse to have a child on board with active outbreaks of chickenpox in such instances. European insurance will cover the necessary extra costs for new accommodation and new repatriation, HolmsLien says.

Immune system

Children’s immune systems are not fully developed  until they are four or five years. The risk of getting ill is greater for those who have not reached this age yet than for older children.

Some precautions works.

– Use water from a bottle. Small children should not drink, brushing teeth or mixing baby porridge with tap water abroad. For the youngest children  breastfeeding brings protection against infectious diseases, Holmslien says.

Good hand hygiene is important, especially before meals. It is also important to make sure your child drinks enough to prevent dehydration.

Make sure your child is vaccinated for the destination you are visiting. Children who follow the Norwegian vaccination program will not have completed this and be  vaccinated with all the important vaccines until they are about 15 months old.

– Vaccines are something you should think about in advance of departure. Check with a travel clinic or health department about which vaccines your child needs and should get before you travel to your chosen destination, Holmslien says .

The nurse at European also recommends that parents who want to bring their children on their holiday avoid bringing their youngest children to the most exotic destinations.

Source: Europeiske Travel Insurance / Norway Today