Krabi with a baby: health and safety issues


If you forgot to pack the infant paracetamol, this is available in a no-sugar, no alcohol version (brand name: Sara or Tylenol) in 7-Eleven type stores anywhere in Krabi- most are open 24 hours. Pharmacies are easily found in the beach areas and are a good first point of call if your baby is unwell, as the pharmacists are English-speaking and are trained to give advice and prescribe medicine. If you know what you want, they also stock children’s ibuprofen (Nurofen brand), as well as a good range of brand name infant medicines such as Calpol, cough expectorant, antibiotics, and cortisone creams and are able to provide dosed droppers to administer the medicine.

Sambuck ointment, for treating mosquito bitesAn excellent purchase while you are here would be some Zambuck ointment (look for a small green tin with red writing, shown left). This is an all-natural baby equivalent of tiger balm and is gentle and safe enough to use even on newborn skin for mosquito bites, bruises and any other small abrasions. It costs around 35 baht for a tin.

Insect repellent

Most insect repellent contains DEET and as such is not advised for use on baby’s sensitive skin, or on any children under the age of 4: citronella oil is available here in pharmacies (around 80 baht a bottle) to use as a safer alternative, and keep the Zambuck (above) at hand to put on any bites.

Light coloured, loose cotton clothing that covers limbs is another natural mosquito deterrent. The temptation in hot weather is to use minimal clothing but, as babies very rarely overheat, the protective layer is useful for both mosquitoes and sun, even if they get a bit clammy. Thai mothers usually bathe infants 2 or 3 times a day in plain water to keep their skin cool and healthy.

A mosquito net for strollers would be useful if you plan to be out and about in the evenings. Do note the occasional outbreak of dengue fever in Krabi. While cases remain very rare in terms of overall population, it is recommended to be extra vigilant with children and infants.

Pediatricians (and general doctors)

There is a paediatric clinic at the Nakharin International Hospital in Krabi Town (Pisalpop Road, Tel: 075-626555) in case of serious illness. The English-speaking Dr Songwut is there Monday – Friday from 8am to 5pm. At the weekends, he can be contacted via his private clinic on Maharat Soi 7, opposite the Seng Ho bookstore.
Most generalists can also treat children for non-serious issues – in Ao Nang, the most convenient, and highly regarded practice is Dr Somboon’s Polyclinic, opposite The Lai Thai Condos. This is open all day / evening in high season and from 4pm only in low season. They will also do hotel callouts in the local area – 075-695303.

Both clinics will charge “foreigner” prices, but will provide the correct paperwork to help with travel insurance claims.

Other saftety issues: driving and sun exposure

Car seats: These are almost never available in taxis, airport transfers etc. If this is an issue, you will need to bring your own, though do note most minivans will be equipped with lap belts only; and on organised tour vehicles, you will not be able to take car seats at all (or even strollers on some trips), due to lack of space.

Keeping your baby safe in the sun: The sun is very strong here – even Thai parents do not let their children venture out of the shade for too long. Covering up and wearing a hat, even in the shade or on cloudy days, is the best protection; and always apply a suitable high factor sun screen to your baby’s skin. Long sleeve rash guards are essential for toddlers and older children who will be in the sea. Frequent baths or showers (in plain water if they have sensitive skin) are an easy and effective way to keep cool and ensure no skin infections.

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