The Road Trip Guide to Traveling with Eczema
With the summer quickly bearing down on us, many families are starting to plan their summer vacations. For parents who have children with eczema, this can be a daunting challenge. At home, you have control over your child’s environment, their routine, what they eat, etc. When you are on vacation, it can be difficult to get that kind of consistency. That’s why, when you’re planning a vacation, you have to do a lot of extra work to prepare and make sure that every possible contingency is covered. For example, let’s say that you are taking a roadtrip with the family!
Prior to leaving, the first step is to confirm your daily eczema routine. If you’ve been dealing with eczema for a while, the routine is probably second nature to you. That’s why you should write it down, every single step, and every single thought. Then take a look at your vacation plan and mentally go through every one of those steps for each one of your stops. For example, if your child needs wet wrap therapy or a bleach bath for their eczema, you must make sure that the hotel has a bathtub. Take stock of every medication your child is on, confirm that you have more than enough of it ready, divide it in half, and then pack it in two different locations. That way, in the event that you lose a bag, you have a backup.
For any roadtrip, it’s a good idea to get your car checked out prior to leaving, In particular, make sure the air conditioning is working perfectly. You and your family are going to be spending a lot of time in your car, so you need to make sure that you can maintain the perfect temperature inside. Then there are the usual roadtrip prep items: pick up snacks, good music, and lots of entertainment for your child like books, toys and dvds. And always move your child's car seat to the shady side of the back seat. The sunny side of the car can flare your child's eczema. It may require a few moves during the day but it's well worth it.
When planning your route and destination, you have to be exact. If you have a child who suffers from severe eczema, make sure that you have all the hospitals on the route marked out in case of emergencies. Check the reviews of every hotel online (we recommend TripAdvisor) to make sure that they have an appropriate standard of cleanliness. And even if the hotel is spotless, the last thing you would want to do is have your child sleep on hotel sheets and use hotel towels. They are often very scratchy and are washed with heavy bleaches and detergents. Take your own sheets and towels with you. Consider purchasing an allersac (allergy friendly sleeping bag). Eczema clothing are also great for protecting skin from hotel sheets and preventing an eczema flare.
As stated before, who knows what kind of powerful chemicals have been used in hotel laundry machines? Odds are that, if your child is sensitive to any kind of scents or detergents, you want to avoid them. So pack smart, making sure that you have every article of clothing ready. If you absolutely need to wash something on your trip, bring a small amount of your usual laundry detergent or just use water or do a hand wash in the hotel sink.
One of the most difficult things to control when on the road is what you eat. If your child is on a special diet, it can be a nightmare to make sure every restaurant you go to can follow your requirements. It might be a good idea to plan every restaurant stop on the trip in advance, calling them ahead of time to make sure they are equipped to handle the special food requests.
This sounds like a lot of work, and it is. But to be honest, so are most successful roadtrips! Having a child with eczema doesn’t mean they have to lose out on happy vacation memories—it just means that you need a little extra preparation. Have a great time!