Before major trips, parents should consult their child's heart specialist and paediatrician to agree on a calling protocol in the event of problems or emergencies. If a child has a pacemaker/defibrillator, the necessary technical experts must also be contacted beforehand.

It is prudent that the parent obtain a summarised history of the child's clinical condition that also lists medications, special equipment and significant members of the clinical team responsible for his/her treatment program.

It is also sensible to contact a medical professional for input well in advance of the scheduled trip.

When travelling, be prepared for an emergency and always have the following items available

  • Contact numbers of the child's heart specialist.
  • A list of prescriptions.
  • A summary of the child's clinical condition and history. This should include copies of all the required medical documents e.g. immunization schedules, patient card, medical aid information, diagnosis of condition, list of medicines and spare prescriptions, list of important numbers, (e.g. child's heart specialist, paediatrician and any important technical staff).
  • Child's medication. This precaution minimises the chances of medication getting lost and ensures reserve stock in the event that more medication may be required.
  • Information regarding a medical centre in the area that will be visited that was recommended by the child's heart specialist. Determine the physical location, relevant phone numbers and other coordinates of this medical centre in advance.

Adequate planning should precede any vacation or trips to distant places. Do not go to places where the medical care is not up to standard or where facilities are too undeveloped to comfortably deal with your child's condition.

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