Travelling to Thailand with our Anaphylactic Child

When Narelle’s sister in law announced she was getting married in Phuket, Thailand, Narelle had a tough decision to make, would she go on her own or could she take her Anaphylactic 5 year old son Sebastian and her 3 year old daughter Alyssa who also suffers from food allergies with her?

My son Sebastian has Anaphlaxis to Dairy, Egg, Seafood, Nuts and tree nuts, and my daughter Alyssa has allergies to dairy, nuts and tree nuts.

When Sebastian was 5 and Alyssa was 3 my sister in law got married in Phuket Thailand. Initially I wasn’t going to take my kids, but people wanted them there so we began to take baby steps in preparing to take the kids to Thailand. We were lucky to have friends in Thailand to check out what products were available in the supermarkets and advise us before we went so we knew what we could and couldn’t get there. So after much careful planning and preparation we spent 10 days at Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand.

We stayed at Woraburi resort in Karon Beach. They were fantastic with my kids’ issues and it was perfect (very cheap too.) There were no cooking facilities at all but in light of the kids’ conditions the hotel kindly let us cook in the unit. We bought an electric cook top for about $30.00. Which meant I could boil water to make pasta and soup, and heat milk etc. We used the breakfast area downstairs to make toast for the kids and they also had fruit and juice for breakfast with us in the restaurant. I really wanted to go out and eat, but we never did with the kids; it would have been a disaster.

We took all of Sebastian’s soy milk, bread and many of the kids’ treats with us. I also took rice bubbles, coco pops, jam, vegemite, nutlex butter, baked beans, tomato sauce and tomato soup, basically everything to make life easier food wise. I also took loaves of bread (which I packed in boxes so it wouldn’t get squashed) we took them fresh and froze them over there. Remember if you are going to Asia a lot of food packaging doesn’t have the ingredients listed in English.Thank goodness we took all that food with us; it meant we had enough room to bring home all the shopping we did in Thailand.

In terms of medication I took 5 epi pens, 3 bottles of Zyrtec, 3 Ventolin inhalers, Flixotide, and Prednisolone, plus Aerogard for kids (I tried this on them before we went – in case of allergies.) In Karon Beach the hospital is not far away, plus they specialize in anaphylaxis (not that I wanted to go.)We had letters from the kid’s doctors in case of any issues from customs. In Thailand they didn’t even blink an eye when I told them what I had with me.

We also downloaded a fantastic program for the iPhone called Allergy Passport. It helped translate Sebastian’s allergies into Thai language.

Can you believe I didn’t have any of the medical problems that I expected? The only issue we had was the kids were in the water all day and both were getting bad eczema and my little girl had bad chaffing from the heat. But I was able to buy some nappy rash cream there for it.

I was so happy to be able to return without a mishap but ironically when we got home my daughter had an ear infection and Sebastian ate something at a party on Sunday night and needed his Zyrtec.

We mostly stayed at the resort, but we did get to go elephant trekking, visit the zoo, see the big Buddha, go market shopping and take trips into Patong beach. It was great to go and experience a different country with the kids. I would like to go to Europe next time. The wedding was great. Sebastian’s favourite parts of the trip were sending a lantern up into the sky one night and all the hermit crabs that came out onto the beach at sunset and both kids would say the swimming was the most enjoyable part, they loved it, there’s nothing like having the pool come up to your back door. Personally I loved the shopping and my daughter loves her new shoes, and handbags.

We’re so pleased the trip went off without a hitch Narelle, thank you for sharing your story and please let us know when you start planning that trip to Europe - TWT