Travelling with kids younger than 12 presents challenges during a pandemic

Vaccinations against COVID-19 are only available to those who are above the age of 12, and with travel restrictions starting to loosen and families starting to book trips, that can mean more complications for families.

Jenna Morton and her family of five from Boundary Creek, N.B. plan to pack up and venture from New Brunswick to Quebec for vacation later this summer.

It will be the first time they've travelled outside of the Atlantic region since the start of the pandemic.

Although her husband is fully vaccinated and she's booked for her second dose, her children are all under the age of eligibility.

"I think I would be very nervous if we were looking at a big trip to a big city environment for sure," Morton sad. "Having kids who can't be vaccinated yet, it's tricky when it comes to wanting to travel for us, we don't do a lot of those big trips to the south, or to the states, so our kids don't feel like they're missing out on things."

New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says when it comes to families travelling with unvaccinated children, everyone has to make their choices with their own safety -- and the safety of their loved ones -- in mind.

"If you're vaccinated, that's one thing, but obviously if your kids are at risk then you still want to keep them protected as best you can," Russell said. "So, I think individuals have the choices to make for themselves and their families or their loved ones."

And when it comes to risk of contracting COVID --- the most important thing to look at is current case rates in the area you are travelling to.

"The good news is, especially in the Atlantic region, but honestly for most of Canada as a whole right now, case rates are extremely low," said Halifax epidemiologist Kevin Wilson.

What is also important for parents is planning, and for the general public to get vaccinated to help protect those who can't.

"That really creates a shield around all of the people young children and people with health conditions and cannot get the vaccine," said Dr. Karina Top, a pediatric infectious disease physician in Halifax

It's all about taking away the opportunity for COVID-19 to travel from one person to another and to do that, it's important to follow whatever advice is in the area you are travelling -- and to use caution and common sense.

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