Family Compliance With Counseling for Children Traveling to the Tropics


Corresponding Author: Philippe Minodier, MD, Pediatric Emergency Unit, Chemin des Bourrelly, F-13915 Marseille Cedex 20, France. E-mail:



The number of people, both adults and children, traveling abroad, is on the rise. Some seek counseling at travel medicine centers before departure.


A prospective study was conducted among children <16 years visiting a travel medicine center in Marseille, France, from February 2010 to February 2011. Parents were contacted by telephone 4 weeks after their return, and asked about compliance with pre-travel advice.


One hundred sixty-seven children were evaluated after their trip. Compliance with immunizations, malaria chemoprophylaxis, and food-borne disease prevention was 71, 66, and 31%, respectively. Compliance with malaria chemoprophylaxis varied significantly with destination, and was higher for African destinations. Significant features associated with poor compliance with chemoprophylaxis were a trip to Asia or the Indian Ocean, age <5 years, and a monoparental family. Compliance with prevention of food- and water-borne diseases was higher in children < 2 years of age.


A ≥80% compliance with pre-travel counseling in children traveling overseas was achieved only for drinking bottled water, using repellents, a routine vaccine update, and yellow fever immunization.