Helping Children With Incontinence Travel
When it’s time to take to trains, planes, or automobiles in order to make it to vacations or family gatherings, parents of special needs children may stress over the idea of traveling, especially if their child also has incontinence. However, you don’t have to spend another holiday at home or miss out on that trip to the beach. With a little extra pre-trip planning your whole family will be on their way to enjoying one heck of a vacation!
Packing And Preparing For Travel
The first thing you should do is figure out how long you’ll be away, then make sure you pack enough incontinence products to cover each day and night. Consider switching to more absorbent pull-ups if your child will be going for longer periods of time without access to a restroom. Also, bring chux or bed pads to protect mattresses and seats.
While you’re out and about with your child, have a backpack that’s prepared with everything they may need. Pack diapers, a change of clothes, gloves, sanitary wipes, and a disposal bag to place any soiled items in. This way, if an accident occurs you’ll be able to clean up quickly.
Sometimes while traveling, only fatty fast foods or unhealthy snacks are available. These items can stress your child’s system, so be sure to have bottled water and healthy options available to help avoid accidents.
Check out maps of wherever you’re heading to figure out where the restrooms are ahead of time, and stop every few hours for bathroom breaks instead of waiting for the urge to strike.
You’ll also want to carry a list of your child’s medications from their doctor to show the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and in case your child needs medical care away from home. When making flight plans, speak with an agent to make sure you and your child sit together and to make sure large medical equipment such as strollers, power chairs, walkers, and more can be stored on the plane. You can also ship items to your destination in advance to avoid having to travel with them. If you have a question about going through security with medical devices, call TSA or the airport ahead of time to learn about their screening procedures. Give yourself extra time in case something doesn’t go according to plan.
How To Make Your Child Feel Comfortable
Disrupting your child’s normal routine and changing their scenery can create stress and anxiety, so offer your support and encouragement to help them calmly travel. Explain exactly what’s going to happen to your child and why to prepare them for going through security or temporarily being separated in a line. Having fidget toys and activity books available can help comfort and entertain your child, and familiar toys and blankets may also help to comfort them.
Don’t rush, either. In bustling new locations, take the time to watch trains and planes arrive and take off. This will gradually let your child adjust to these new environments to prevent a sensory overload. Be sure to have noise-canceling headphones if they would prefer their favorite music over a noisy environment.
In the event of an accident, remain calm. Remind your child that it’s not their fault and that the day or trip is still going to be great. Then, provide as much privacy as possible for the cleanup. If possible, use a private family bathroom and don’t let relatives or friends know about the accident, as incontinence can be embarrassing.
Keep in mind that you’re going on a family trip. When your child with special needs is busy or asleep, take the time to give your partner and other children ample attention.
Don’t Overpay For Incontinence Supplies
By using a reliable durable medical equipment provider (DME), you can have your incontinence supplies covered by insurance, saving you tons each month to put towards your next vacation.
A quality supplier will navigate your insurance plan for you to determine what items are covered. Most plans will supply up to 200 diapers or catheters per month. Then they will make sure your items are shipped directly to your home in blank packaging, so no one has to know what’s inside and you can skip embarrassing trips to the store for diapers.
The right DME will also match you with a trained Incontinence Specialist to always assist with your individual needs. From ensuring that you confidently have properly fitting supplies to checking in with you on a monthly basis, they’ll be there to help. You don’t have to face incontinence alone or let it prevent your family from traveling – you just need to prepare.
— Cheryl Williams is urology team leader at Aeroflow Healthcare