Color & Control:

Leaving on a jet plane?

You know the drill! From food, and allergy related concerns, to coping with anxiety or stressful behaviours, time changes and airport wait times, getting there isn’t always the most relaxing of times for parents or trip leaders.

So, what do the experts say about planning ahead for a “happier, safer holiday” that we could put into the “to do list”? We’ve also added tips for traveling with medical equipment:

1) Ask the team. Talk to your child or loved one’s health care providers a few weeks before traveling. Get a check up and ask about carrying prescriptions and medical equipment across borders and get some advice.

2) Purchase travel insurance. Make sure the insurer covers pre-existing conditions and whether medical devices will be replaced if lost or damaged.

3) Baggage. Note that the carry-on bag limit does not apply to medical supplies, equipment or mobility aids. Check size restrictions and packing requirements ahead of time.

4) Confirm needs. After booking your ticket make a call. Discuss advance arrangements if you need to transport a battery-powered wheelchair or other mobility aids and confirm airport arrival times.

5) Security and customs. Check your airport, most large ones offer a priority security line for families that you can use. Screening officers in these lines have additional training and can offer assistance if required.

6) Speak up. Let officers know as you approach if someone has a medical implant, artificial limb, or mobility aid that may trigger or affect the metal detection equipment.

7) Paperwork. Don’t forget to carry medical certificates from your health care provider with you, especially if your medication requires needles and syringes or ostomy bags.

8) Take enough. Supplies are needed for your entire trip unless local arrangements are made. And be sure to pack emergency sets inhand luggage.

A word to the wise, plan ahead. Try to anticipate most eventualities and, above all else…stay calm and carry on.

Caroline Tapp-McDougall

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