Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Children's Health (Pre-Departure)

What vaccinations should you have prior to your stay in Punta Cana? Does Club Med have any health requirements? Read on.

Pre-Departure Check-Ups
Talk with your pediatrician and make sure that your children are up to date on vaccinations for your upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic. Depending on the age and health of your child[ren], you may even want to consult with your pediatrician prior to booking any trip involving air travel and or travel overseas.
Club Med recommends vaccinations, including polio, tetanus, and Hep A and Hep B, prior to your Punta Cana visit. Note that certain vaccinations are given in a series involving multiple office visits, and should be started well prior to your departure. This is also a good time to discuss malaria with your pediatrician. You should also review your own vaccination history to make sure you are up to date as a parent (tetanus, for example, should be readministered periodically).

Club Med strongly advises that parents with children participating in resort childcare programs provide children's health documents (scroll to the section on "Children's Health Formalities"). Note that parents of infants and toddlers enrolled in Baby Club Med and Petit Club Med must be able to show proof of up-to-date vaccinations.

For access to the Baby Club Med™*, Petit Club Med™* and Mini Club Med™, parents are strongly advised to obtain a medical certificate that demonstrates that the child or children are in a fit state of health deemed appropriate for participation in children’s group activities, including vaccination updates. This certificate should be issued by your GP (it may be subject to a charge) prior to departure, no more than 48 hrs before arrival at your resort. Club Med reserves the right to request such a document and to refuse acceptance of any child into the children’s club concerned should it be deemed necessary....

At all Baby Club Med™* and Petit Club Med™* Resorts, the person accompanying the child must be able to show proof that all required childhood vaccinations are up to date (medical certificate or medical record). For Baby Club Med™* this includes at least the first dose of vaccination against diphtheria, tetanus and polio.

I did obtain health documentation stating that my child was fit to participate along with vaccination history as stated above prior to both of our trips to Club Med Punta Cana, just in case, but I was not asked to provide it in 2008 or in 2009. I wasn't sure what type of form I should bring, so I had our pediatrician fill out the State of Connecticut Department of Education Health Assessment Record form. I suppose that this type of health documentation requirement is not surprising to parents of school-age children, or if your children already attend daycare or pre-school, but it might be out-of-the norm for parents whose children are not yet involved in any form of group childcare.

It's also not a bad idea for very young children to have a pre-departure check-up (the week you leave home) to make sure they are free of sneaky, troublesome things like ear infections.

Planning your family's stay at Club Med Punta Cana? More info here:


  1. Thanks for the info... I was planning to get the Baby Club Med package but since we have chosen not to vaccinate we obviously can't provide proof...

  2. I am travelling to club med punta cana in february with my 8 month old and 3 year old. I am wondering about the need for malaria medication and hep a and b shots. I don't know if kids that age can even get the shots / take the medication, and if I can take malaria medication when breast it a serious risk, should I be worried???

  3. I would definitely check with your pediatrician now. Some of these shots must be administered in a series, and some malaria meds are given prior to a trip, so some lead time is needed. It's hard to say what the real risk for malaria is. Some malaria meds may also have side effects, so you should be sure to weigh those as well with your ped's (or your own dr's) guidance. Regardless of whether you take the malaria meds, definitely bring DEET-based mosquito repellant (wipes are easier to apply with kids) as a precaution. I saw a December 2009 Trip Advisor post that a mother found the mosquitos quite troublesome, even though they did not bother the rest of her family (see last paragraph):

    Enjoy your trip!!!