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4 things to consider before traveling with your kids this summer

Since kids aren't able to get any of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, they could get sick while traveling this summer.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowans are itching for their chance to head out on a long, long vacation after getting their vaccinations, but one health expert is urging caution for those with kids. 

Dr. Melanie Wellington with the University of Iowa Health Care said since kids aren't eligible for the vaccine, there's a real risk of not only transmitting the virus but contracting it as well.

"It can really impact the family," Wellington said.

Wellington, an expert in pediatric care, told Local 5 there is a lot to think about if a child gets sick on a trip. 

There are four big things to consider before taking a trip with the kids or sending them off to their grandparents' house: 

  • Avoid large group settings with lots of unmasked people
  • Taking a car is much safer than flying on a plane
  • Plan for a somewhat loose quarantine once the trip is over
  • Plan an outdoor vacation

"You would not want to take this gigantic trip into this, like, 1,000-person rally with no masks three days before school starts," Wellington said. "Because then if you do come back with somebody who's infected, and that person then goes to school, the whole thing snowballs, again." 

As for testing before heading on a trip, Dr. Wellington said you don't really need to do that unless it's required. 

"So the test doesn't actually give us the safety we want it to, and [it] has a lot of complications of false positives and complications from the test and all that," Wellington said. "So in general, I don't recommend testing except for when you're required, or very special or unusual circumstances." 

The last tip from Wellington is probably the best one of all— plan an outdoor vacation. 

"It's summer. This is the time to get out there," she said. "Outdoors is almost always very much safer than indoors."

Watch more coronavirus coverage on Local 5's YouTube channel