It doesn’t matter if you are leaving for a few hours or a few days, if you have a special needs child preparation is key to a successful, enjoyable trip. There are all of the normal factors to be considered: diapers, wipes, snacks and entertainment options to name a few – but more important are the things that will keep your special needs child safe and comfortable.
Here are a few things that always make my checklist:
•Phone numbers of doctors/pharmacy – an absolute necessity. Be sure you have accurate working numbers for your child’s medical team on hand in case a question or problem arises while you are traveling.
•Medications –Bring enough quantity of your child’s daily medications to last the duration of your trip as well as a few extra doses just in case you drop, spill or lose a dose or your trip goes longer than expected. Give special consideration to including supplies needed to dispense and store the medications. My son takes a daily growth hormone injection that requires me to bring along alcohol swabs, syringes, and a cooler and ice to properly store the medication.
•Specialized Medical Equipment-Especially important for those trips that are overnight or longer. As you prepare for your trip, think about the things you do daily to keep your child well. Do you take blood pressure readings once or twice a day? Test blood sugar levels? Weigh? If so bring all of the necessary equipment to do these things while on the road just as you would if you were at home. Because my son requires daily dialysis we carry a dialysis machine, fluid, tubing, dressing supplies, blood pressure machines, scales…you get the point!
•Emergency Equipment – This could include anything from an inhaler, Epipen or a good thermometer and fever reducer–just in case!
•Extras – This is of utmost importance if you are using supplies that are sterile and are difficult (or impossible to find at your local drug store). Bring extras! To err is human- to be prepared is a relief!!
•Check with your medical supply company for special delivery options for medical supplies. My son’s dialysis supply company will ship needed dialysis supplies ahead (to an address we specify) if we are traveling. This cuts down tremendously on packing and is a life-saver if you are flying.
By now your car is loaded down with medical supplies and you have no place to put your clothes, much less your kid. Even though the ride may be crowded, you will rest easy knowing you are prepared for any bumps on the road ahead. Have fun!