Holiday Destinations to Avoid When Travelling with Babies and Toddlers

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When it comes to family vacations, the safety and well-being of our little ones are paramount. Recent advice from healthcare professionals has brought to light specific travel destinations that might not be suitable for the youngest members of our families—babies and toddlers. The core of the concern lies in the altitude of certain popular holiday spots and the potential risk of altitude sickness in young children.

Understanding the Altitude Advisory

The advisory lays out clear guidelines regarding the maximum altitudes considered safe for children of various ages, from newborns up to two years old. For instance, it’s recommended that children under one month should not be taken to altitudes exceeding 1,200m in a day, with a prolonged stay not exceeding 1,500m. The limits gradually increase with age, but for children under two years, the cap is set at 2,000m for both daily ascension and extended periods.

High-Altitude Destinations to Avoid

This guidance effectively puts a red flag on several high-altitude holiday destinations. Renowned ski resorts such as Val Thorens, situated at 2,300m, and Tignes, at 2,100m, are highlighted as potentially risky. Moreover, even scenic mountains closer to home, like Snowdon in Wales (1,085m) and Ben Nevis in Scotland (1,345m), warrant caution when planning a visit with young children.

The Reality of Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a concern when ascending to high elevations rapidly, typically above 2,500m. Symptoms can range from mild, such as headaches and fatigue, to severe, including difficulty breathing and confusion, which could be life-threatening. Young children are particularly vulnerable due to their developing bodies and may not be able to communicate their discomfort effectively.

Should you or your child exhibit signs of altitude sickness, the immediate course of action is to rest at the current altitude until improvement is noted. If symptoms persist or worsen, descending to a lower altitude is crucial. In cases where symptoms escalate into severe forms of altitude sickness, seeking urgent medical assistance becomes necessary.

A Word of Caution for Family Travels

While exploring new heights and terrains can be an exhilarating part of family adventures, this recent advice serves as a reminder to prioritise health and safety, especially for our youngest explorers. It encourages parents and guardians to carefully consider their travel destinations and to stay informed about the potential risks associated with high-altitude environments.

In summary, when planning your next family getaway, it might be wise to keep your feet a little closer to the ground, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Remember, there are countless breathtaking destinations within safe altitudes that are perfect for creating those cherished family memories.

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