Unfortunately, this article was inspired by real – life, real – time events. A good friend of mine is currently at Port Orleans Riverside with a very sick little boy on his 3rd birthday. He started feeling a little under the weather 2 days ago but today he became lethargic and hot so mom and dad rushed him to immediate care. They walked away with a bunch of medicine and a pneumonia diagnosis. Naturally, this made me sad because they haven’t been able to fully enjoy their first family Disney World vacation experience.
We’ve taken our own children to WDW twice and my youngest suffered from vomiting and a fever on our first trip. On our second trip, he was on a slew of medications following a skin infection the week prior to our trip. Needless to say, we hadn’t taken these situations into consideration as we spent months prior planning our trips. While these situations definitely add a bump in your trip, most cases are manageable and will not ruin your entire vacation.
So what DO you do when your child becomes ill while on a Disney vacation? My first piece of advice is to purchase trip insurance!! Read the fine print to determine what all is covered. With that in mind, the best thing you can do is to be as prepared as you can be for anything that might come up. Pack your own thermometer, band-aids, motion sickness medicine, pain reliever, and fever reducer. Rest easy if you forgot anything, knowing that these items are also available at resort and park gift shops.
If you do need to seek medical care, you have several options, depending on the severity of the illness. If you happen to be at one of the theme parks when your family member becomes sick, nurses are on duty at each of the parks’ first aid centers. At the resort, you can simply call the front desk and arrange complimentary transportation to a nearby urgent care center, local hospital, or to have a medical doctor come to the resort. This is a medical expense that can be submitted to insurance. Of course 911 is always an option if the situation is extreme. Additionally, you can arrange transportation to local pharmacies to pick up any prescribed medications.
Keep in mind that the Florida sun is intense all year, but especially during the summer months. If your child is taking antibiotics while at Disney World, take extra care to reapply sunscreen often as some medications increase skin sensitivity. Additionally, keep in mind that the sun exacerbates the intensity of some symptoms such as fever, nausea, and dehydration so be sure to stay cool, grab some shade, and remain hydrated.
Finally, do what you can to prevent contagious illness. We aren’t super germaphobes in my household, but we do keep hand sanitizer with us at all times while on vacation. Thousands of people make their way through every area of Walt Disney World Resort each day and, chances are, someone else who is sick has touched that knob, faucet, ride restraint, or handrail in the past couple of hours. I make it a point to ensure that my family reapplies hand sanitizer periodically throughout the day, wash hands with soap and warm water before eating, and I’m constantly telling my kids to keep their hands out of their mouths and away from their faces.
Being sick is no fun, but being sick at the Most Magical Place on Earth is the worst.
Candice was raised in east Tennessee. While in college, her best friend dragged her to a Walt Disney World College Program recruiting session at the University of Tennessee and the rest is Disney history. In the Fall of 1999, Candice became a quick service food hostess for Sunset Ranch Market and Fantasmic at Disney-MGM Studios – or what is now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While soaking up her time as a cast member, she met Ryan, a neighbor and a fellow college programmer who worked as a custodial host at Epcot. Four years later, Candice moved to the Midwest and married that boy from across the hall. They now live in Greenwood, Indiana with their two little boys. The Disney-loving foursome took their first family trip to The Happiest Place on Earth in 2013 and Candice is eagerly planning their return. Candice also works full-time at a community mental health center and enjoys taking photographs and blogging at Mommy in the Midwest.