With the holiday travel season coming up fast, don’t forget to get your kids and grandkids covered for international trips. Your coverage won’t do it unless they are named in your policy, and kids are much more prone to accidents, infections, and exotic bugs than you are.
Also, children don’t get discounts on foreign emergency rooms, cruise ships, or ports of call just because they are younger. And if they are travelling with you to distant locations beyond the United States, you need to get advice about immunization shots.
According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, almost one third of paediatricians responding to a national survey say they have treated children with travel-related illnesses after returning home from trips in the previous 12 months. In addition, 57 per cent of children who had been seen by doctors responding to the survey had suffered diarrheal illness bad enough to warrant admission to a hospital.
Fortunately, travel insurance will cover children who might need emergency medical or hospital care while in a foreign country, but you need to make sure that they are specifically covered. Individual trip policies only cover you, not your dependents. Ask for family plans that will cover your children, and make sure to specify each of their names, ages, etc. on the policy. These are usually very good deals for youngsters. So don’t overlook the fact that kids get into a lot of mischief and are far more prone to accidents and other unexpected ailments while travelling than their parents.
Get a consent letter for crossing any borders with children
Also, if you are travelling out of country with your grandchildren, children of friends or relatives, or children from a previous spouse, you will need a letter permitting you to do so from the custodial parents. Border agents in virtually all countries are now demanding such documentation to prevent a growing epidemic of abductions and other cross-border child trafficking. And don’t forget: You are never too young to have a passport—the kids need one too!