21 April 2006

Handy book for when you're trekking in Nepal with your kid

Tiffany has traveled all around the world with her son, and, in fact, just got back from a solo trip to Nepal with him (he's six). Here's her reference book advice:

What altitude is too high for a one year old? How can you spot Dengue Fever in a toddler? What's the dosage of Cipro for a pre-schooler? "How to Make Parasitic Friends and Influence Tropical Disease" could be the title of this book, but instead they named it "Your Child Abroad: A Travel Health Guide" (Drs. J. Wilson- Howarth and M. Ellis)  - an essential reference for anyone taking their child to an exotic location. Packed with practical advice, it also contains entertaining personal stories (they all end well!) with titles like "Electrocution in Lombok" and "Cyclospora - The Kathmandu Quickstep."

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Ummmm...I'm all for taking your kid on adventures, but NEPAL? To hell with parasites--it's the gunfire and kidnapping I'd be worried about. Where is she going next? The Middle East? C'mon--let's get real.

I didn’t go to Nepal blindly, before our trip I corresponded with several people who live in the country or had recently visited – the more research I did, the more of an accurate picture of the situation I received. Once there, I wondered what I was ever concerned about! We were so warmly welcomed (Nepali’s LOVE children) by everyone we met – including soldiers. Although the news at the time portrayed Nepal as an eminent “fall of Saigon” situation, the reality for visitors was very different – we were even there during a couple of days of the major strike and always felt completely safe.

Having said that, traveling to a third world country isn’t everyone’s cup of latte. But, for those of us who do travel with our children to these countries, books like “Your Child’s Health Abroad” are indispensable. During our visit to Nepal we met lots of other families – a Dutch family trekking with their six-month-old and three-year-old, a British family also traveling with a baby and a toddler, and lots more. So when you say, “get real” my reply is that this kind of travel is realistic for us and many other families, but I certainly recognize that it’s not for everyone and appreciate your concern. And yes, there are places I’d travel to in the Middle East – Dubai and Egypt (in fact, we’re planning a trip to Egypt for ’07).
Best wishes,

Tiffany


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