Risks for 2 year old girl
My son wants to come down the west coast of Africa with his wife, 2 year old daughter and his dad in 2 oldish Toyota 4x4 Land Cruisers.
What are the risks for my 2 year old grand daughter and where?
With your knowledge, would you do it?
Nope - would not do this.
Malaria in kids that age is really bad news.
It's obviously a very personal decision.
I haven't traveled the west coast but I have the east. We met several people traveling with kids. Most were older than two but one we met was only one year old. He was doing just fine and in many ways benefiting I think from all the new people, things etc. He was a very confident little guy!
BUT the difficulty with a child that age is they can't easily articulate when something is wrong. That "wrong" could be malaria which can become very dangerous very quickly in a young child. It could be heat stroke (again they don't regulate external temperatures so well).
And of course the west coast has several hot spots at the moment. Aid workers have been kidnapped in Niger in the past few days, Mali is also a problem. I do wonder if having a young child in such situations makes you more vulnerable, I guess it would almost certainly make you more stressed.
I'm sure they'll be doing their research but below are a couple of blogs from people I know have finished the trip in the last few months. If they read these (almost day to day) reports and still feel comfortable with what they're taking on then all's good.
March | 2012 | Rutters on Tour – African Episode
As a compromise they could consider traveling down the east coast. It is a softer option I think.
If they do decide to go for it they should ensure they have good insurance (medical evacuation etc) and that it isn't invalidated by traveling through the areas they plan to travel through and they should be fanatical about covering up the baby against mosquitos.
I'd be unhappy with that and wouldn't do it as a leisure trip. Just before his second birthday my son went from perfectly healthy and happy to an emergency hospital admission on a 90 min ferry crossing - and that was in Europe. They can't tell you they're not feeling well at that age, you have to work it out from their behavior and with all the other stuff that would be going on it's easy to take your eye off the ball and be grateful they're quiet for a while. I've seen young children with malaria in Mali and it's not a risk I'd have taken with either of mine.
"I did it and it was fine"
"I read a blog about a family who did it and they were fine".
Children under five especially DIE quickly and easily if they get malaria which is endemic - ENDEMIC - in sub-Saharan Africa.
You would be a prize ****in' idiot to voluntarily expose your child to that risk.
I can't say it any clearer than that.
No need to take my opinion on it - google the advice from WHO or anyone who knows what they are talking about and see what they say.
Risk for 2 year old girl
Many thanks for your replies.
I will forward them on to my son who is planning the trip
I question the risk of child snatching in some countries.
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