Our advice

"Have your factor in your carry-on luggage and not in the hold (if travelling by plane)."

Lara Oyesiku, Nurse Manager

Travel

Taking a child with a bleeding disorder on holiday can seem a little scary, but we believe that it shouldn’t be a barrier. With careful planning and preparation, any child can experience the excitement of going on holiday – at home or abroad.

You should discuss your upcoming trip with your child’s healthcare team at your haemophilia centre. They will able to notify the haemophilia centre closest to where you are staying, and provide you with checklists and advice to ensure your child’s safety and wellbeing.

We have created a checklist below of essential things you need to remember to bring or do before your trip, which you can use as a guide in addition to speaking to the haemophilia centre. Leave plenty of time to get everything in order as certain documents and vaccinations may need to be prepared weeks in advance.

Our travel checklist:

  • Always make sure you have a doctor’s letter from your haemophilia centre that details your child’s condition. The main purpose of it is to ensure that you can pass through customs with your treatment equipment easily, and it can also be useful in case of an emergency to inform medics. You may also want to write the letter in the language of the country you are visiting.

  • It is handy to have Medic Alert identification so that, should your child be involved in an accident, people around can identify their bleeding disorder.

  • Make sure you bring a sufficient amount of treatment for your child’s stay, and in case of an emergency to cover accidental breakage. If your child is using factor you will also need to check that there are facilities available for you to store the factor in a cool place.

  • This can be a helpful addition to a doctor’s letter in case you need to prove your child’s condition to customs, or to inform medical professionals.

  • You can locate your nearest centre via the following link : http://www.euhanet.org/centrelocator/Default.aspx.

  • You should let your local centre know when and where you are travelling so that they are aware of the situation, and can contact the haemophilia centre nearest to where you are staying.

  • You need to be careful when taking out travel insurance, ensuring that your provider will cover pre-existing conditions, that your provider is aware of your child’s condition, and will cover your medical costs should they need hospital care. If you are travelling within the EU, you can apply for a free EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) which will enable you access to state healthcare services for free or for a reduced cost.

  • Everyone, whether they have a bleeding disorder or not, needs to have the appropriate vaccinations and immunisations prior to travelling. You can talk to the healthcare professionals at your haemophilia centre, and they can point you in the right direction. Be sure to leave enough time before your trip, as it is generally advised that you get vaccinated or take special medication six to eight weeks beforehand.

  • It is always best to prepare for a potential accident.

Remember:

  • Documents can take time to process, so make sure you have left enough time before your trip
  • You can call your child’s haemophilia centre at any time, so if you’re concerned then don’t hesitate to call
  • Telephone the local haemophilia centre if they are in need of treatment
  • The standard of care can vary from country to country, and some countries may not provide haemophilia support. Therefore, if you are planning to travel to a country that does not have a haemophilia centre, you must discuss this with your child’s healthcare team beforehand to seek their advice
  • Make sure there is more than one copy of the medical paperwork
  • If your child is using factor you must carry it on you when flying in case it is lost or stolen in your stowed away luggage
  • It’s helpful to tell the travel agent about your child’s condition so that they can make arrangements e.g. making sure there’s a fridge in your room for the factor

We believe that your child should be able to live their life to the fullest, and by taking our advice you can make sure your child has fun whilst being safe. If you require any further information, you can talk to a healthcare professional at your haemophilia centre and use the links below.
 

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