Council Members

  • Chair: Natalie Prevatt, United Kingdom
  • Immediate Past Chair: Sheila Mackell,  United States of America
  • Leah Kern, United States of America
  • Sarah Kohl, United States of America
  • Natalie Prevatt, United Kingdom
  • Francisco Silva, United States of America
  • Mike Starr, Australia

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We are delighted to welcome you to the home page of the new ISTM Pediatrics Interest Group. Pediatrics is an integral part of travel medicine. All travel medicine practitioners, regardless of their primary specialty and areas of interest are frequently confronted with pediatric-related issues. Many, perhaps most travel health practitioners, see children in their office as part of families going overseas. Parents are increasingly taking their children on work assignments in remote areas of the world or on pleasure trips to high altitude destinations and safaris, and teenagers travel by themselves or in groups to developing countries to do community work, for example.

A large body of pediatric-oriented travel health information has come into existence, much of it from non-traditional travel medicine sources and the data is often not available in the travel medicine literature. These sources include international health, overseas adoptions, and vaccination projects in developing countries, to mention just a few. Some pediatricians in the forefront of such programs are members of the ISTM.

Informal surveys of ISTM members show that many, probably most, want more pediatric-oriented travel medicine information to better serve the families who seek their counseling.

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The Pediatric Interest Group Charter

  • Promote visibility and support of pediatric travel medicine within the ISTM.
  • Provide a forum within ISTM for members interested in pediatric travel medicine to communicate with each other.
  • Communicate with ISTM sub-groups and other professional and interest groups on issues where pediatric aspects are of special importance.
  • Advance the science of pediatric travel medicine and provide professional education about pediatric travelers
  • Alert non-travel medicine health care providers who deal with infants and children to the importance of travel-related issues.
  • Facilitate the development of timely, evidence based, peer-reviewed information regarding the health and safety aspects of infants and children in the pre, during, and post travel phase which includes potential impacts on their physical and mental development.
  • Establish effective means to disseminate pediatric-related travel health information to ISTM members, to other health providers, to the media, and to parents.
  • Encourage non-ISTM members interested in pediatric travel medicine to join the ISTM.

Preliminary recommendations for accomplishing Charter provisions include:

Take Specific ISTM-Related Action:

  • Establish an informative pediatric page on the ISTM website
  • Further develop pediatric-oriented sessions at ISTM conferences.
  • Develop pediatric travel-related sessions at pediatric conferences.

Serve ISTM Members:

  • Monitor the pediatric literature for travel-related articles.
  • Establish databases for travel health professionals, for other health care practitioners, and for parents.
  • Identify pediatric-knowledgeable travel medicine practitioners overseas.
  • Compile lists of websites which provide good pediatric travel-related information.

Advance the Science of Pediatric Travel Medicine:

  • Encourage pediatric researchers to publish travel-related material in the Journal of Travel Medicine and in other relevant journals.
  • Establish contact with pediatric societies to exchange information.
  • Survey established travel medicine clinics to see how we can assist them to improve their services to parents.
  • Facilitate the preparation of guidelines for screening teenagers going overseas for school, volunteering, living with host families, tourism, etc.
  • Provide information for health care professionals who advise travelers visiting friends and families in developing countries.
  • Study the psychological impact (if any) on children who live overseas in different cultures for extended periods of time.
  • Contact organizations that provide travel medicine services to encourage them to become more child oriented. Example: Existing in-flight medical kits are inappropriate for infants and young children.