Pediatric HealthSource: Hemophilia

Amy L. Dunn, M.D.
Amy L. Dunn, M.D.

Q: My family is considering taking a last-minute vacation before school starts. I'm worried about traveling with my son who has hemophilia. How can I best prepare for a safe, fun and worry-free trip?

A: As back-to-school season starts, families are squeezing in vacations filled with adventure, excitement and anticipation. But anticipation for a child shouldn't include worrying about hemophilia, a blood-clotting disorder that can turn even a scraped knee into a dangerous health risk.

To avoid the anxiety of traveling with a child with hemophilia, and to enjoy a safe and fun vacation, consider this checklist when planning the trip:

Consider your location. Put your mind at ease by researching destinations that have appropriate medical facilities to assist your child if necessary, including hospitals with a hemophilia treatment center.

Plan activities that are both safe and fun. Resources are available to help you participate in things that every family member will enjoy, such as aquatics, fishing and golfing.

Create a travel treatment plan. Consult with your hematologist, who can review your plans, provide a travel letter and make sure you have the proper medications and equipment to take on your trip.

Always consult your child's pediatrician concerning your child's health.

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Amy L. Dunn, M.D., is the director of hematology at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Tip of the Month: Talk with Your Doctor

When communicating with a child's pediatrician, parents should ask:

What medications and equipment are necessary to bring? Your hemophilia treatment center can give you a list of items to pack.

How can I avoid issues in transit to my destination?Your hematologist can give helpful tips. For example, when flying, make sure your child sits in a bulkhead row, so passengers can't push their seats back onto his or her legs.

Can you provide a travel letter for our trip? This letter can be presented to security, explaining why you are carrying medical supplies and the serious implications of not having them on hand.