Physician: International Travel

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We will be traveling to Russia to pick up our beautiful baby boy. What specifics in regards to travel do I need to know about in order to make it a safe and pleasant experience?

Preparing for travel

Traveling to another country can have its own hazards. Your own health changes all the time and it is a good idea to get a checkup before you go on a long trip where it will be difficult to get medical care.

It is also important to consult the centers for disease control website for information on infections that may be ongoing in your destination country. It will also provide you up to date information on any vaccines you may need and also things you may need to bring with you.

If you do get sick abroad personal physicians worldwide 1-888-657-8114 & international association for assistance to travelers 1-716-754-4883 are resources you can use as well as your adoption agency.

There are clinics available in most large cities, which specialize in persons traveling abroad, and they can be a valuable resource to you and you physician about what you can expect. Also speaking with the adoption agency and with other people who have made the same trip is useful.

Preparation for travel with children

Antibiotics and respiratory infections

In this country, with ready access to quality healthcare it is not advisable to treat overly simple colds and coughs. Being abroad with a child who is malnourished, living in an institution without thorough knowledge of their recent health however it is advisable to bring with you antibiotics for illnesses, which seems to be overly affecting the child.

Consulting with your child’s future pediatrician is the ideal way to handle this situation before giving any antibiotic but because of time delay sometimes this is not possible. Many experts suggest bringing with you an antibiotic such as zithromax in a powdered form with sterile water premeasured by the pharmacist so that all you have to do is mix them together. The dose is 10mg for every kilogram given once a day for three days for most simple infections.

Bacitracin/Topical Antibiotics

It is useful to bring with you an antibiotic ointment and bandages because having a child means having bumps bruises and cuts. Any decent first aid kit is invaluable.>



(contemporary pediatrics 1997 Wagner)

If you are confronted with a child whose eyes look like these, an antibiotic drop such as polytrim placed in the affected eye(s) three times a day for seven days usually effects cure.

These drops should be acquired ahead of time and require a prescription.

Atopic dermatitis

This is a common condition among children who are being internationally adopted it appears and is treated as the pictures/table below. Normally Dove unscented is the soap most recommended by pediatricians for all children, but especially for children with sensitive skin.


Treating atopic eczema

  • Keep the skin at a high, even level of humidity
  • Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream as needed
  • Apply liberal amounts of a topical moisturizer such as Vaseline many times a day<

Sources: Bigby M: A thorough systematic review of treatments for atopic eczema.

Arch Dermatol 2001;137:1635; Oranje AP, De Waard-Van Der Spek FB:

Atopic dermatitis: Review 2000 to January 2001.

Curr Opin Pediatr 2002;14:410

Cradle Cap

Cradle cap is a normal finding in infants and is easily treated with nizoral shampoo, which is available over the counter.

Care should be taken not to get the shampoo into the eyes but otherwise it is fairly safe to use. It appears here in its worse form, normally it is not so terrible but it can get as bad as this.

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