Characteristics and Risk Profiles of Paediatric International Travelers Visiting Friends and Relatives
CPS ePoster Library. Ma A. Jun 25, 2015; 99099; 36
Amanda Ma
Amanda Ma
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Abstract
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Background: International travelers are susceptible to a wide spectrum of travel related morbidities. Pediatric travelers, along with travelers visiting friends and relatives (VFR) are both recognized high-risk groups. Despite the rising number of pediatric VFR travelers, their characteristics and risk profiles are not well described.
Objective: To describe the risk-determining demographic and travel characteristics of pediatric international travelers.
Design/Methods: A descriptive analysis was conducted on pre-travel consultations completed between January 2013 and May 2014 at a Tertiary Care Family Travel Medicine Clinic. Data on demographics and travel characteristics were extracted from 312 consultations that met the inclusion criteria. 50% of consultations were for children <18 years of age (n=156), of which 31% were for young children (<5 years of age). We compared putative factors between VFRs and non-VFRs among children only.
Results: VFR children were on average significantly younger than non-VFR children (mean±SD: 5.4±4.1 vs 10.6±5.2 years of age, p<0.01). They were more likely to visit destinations in Asia (48% vs 29%, p<0.05), travel for longer duration (median (IQR): 31 (21-59) vs 12 (10-21) days, p<0.01), and stay with locals, friends and/or relatives (81% vs 13%, p<0.01). They were less likely to visit destinations in the Caribbean (0% vs 20%, p<0.05), participate in organized tour groups (4% vs 66%, p<0.01) and stay in hotel accommodations (41% vs 74%, p<0.01).
Conclusions: VFR children traveling internationally are on average younger, more likely to travel for longer duration, and stay with locals, friends and/or relatives. They are potentially more susceptible to travel-related morbidities due to their young age and high-risk travel characteristics. These findings can help develop targeted pre-travel care for VFR children traveling internationally.
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