Keeping healthy on school trips

Some students are lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel the world as part of a travel group and it’s important for students to keep themselves as safe as possible to ensure they are getting the most out of their time abroad.

Ensuring students’ health while overseas starts with a visit to one of our doctors at Travel Health Plus and finding out about how illness can be prevented while travelling overseas. We love seeing student groups travelling to different corners of the world, all doing fantastic work and providing students with valuable life lessons.

We do however, also see these same students returning from their trips with a wide range of preventable diseases, from measles and chicken pox, to giardia and malaria.

Recently, we came across a student returning from their trip after being infected with measles – which was not only unpleasant for the student, it also caused issues with the school and the local health department. All of which were easily preventable with a simple vaccine and pre-travel health care.

It is recommended that students be educated about what they should and shouldn’t be eating and drinking during their time away. In another case we saw a 16-year-old student drink inadequately purified water and fall very ill with giardia – with symptoms persisting for weeks after her return home, missing important school time and exams.

With an illness such as travellers diarrhoea there are many preventative measures which travellers can implement not only during travels but also before they go away.

We have also experienced a student returning from Cambodia presenting with malaria, which is a potentially fatal illness which can be prevented with the correct advice and medication before leaving.

At Travel Health Plus we have extensive experience liaising with student groups. We also maintain direct contact with popular umbrella organisations such as World Challenge, Antipodeans, Rustic Pathways and World Youth Adventures and welcome the opportunity to discuss each group’s individual needs.

Some of the things we can offer include:

  • Personal liaison with group coordinators to ensure best health outcomes for the student.
  • Consistent health advice for all group participants – everyone gets the same advice and recommended the same immunisations.
  • Group talks available to inform all students, parents and staff of health risks.
  • Specific malaria advice based on the group’s exact location and sleeping arrangements.
  • Individual or group appointments – we can allocate a block of time for all students to attend the clinic together or organise to come out to the school or university and vaccinate on site.
  • Individual self-treatment or tailor-made group kits – for self-treatment of simple illnesses such as travellers’ diarrhoea, destination specific group medication kits and comprehensive first aid kits.
  • Direct liaison with medical staff whilst overseas or prompt post travel follow up upon return.

We want overseas trips to be memorable for all the right reasons, which is why our aim is to minimise health dramas, particularly in young students – many of which might be going overseas for the first time.

For more information on our student group travel services please contact our reception staff or group travel coordinator:
Helen de Kleine RN
Certificate in Travel Health®
Clinical Nurse / Group Travel Coordinator
T: 08 9336 6630
F: 08 9336 6631