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India with kids - yes or no

21 replies

StickyNote · 09/08/2004 09:32

My friend is about to move to Mumbai (Bombay) and I'm keen to go and see her but I'm unsure whether to take my kids or not (DS is 5 and DD is 3). Can anyone help?

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motherinferior · 09/08/2004 09:49

If you've got somewhere to stay, I'd say GO! Make sure you've got all the inoculations etc, that's all.

Haven't been to India for years (my mother is Indian and I spent part of my childhood there), oh yes do go....

StickyNote · 09/08/2004 09:56

Thank you MI, you're the first person to say anything positive! Most people I've spoken to are totally aghast at the idea, citing the terrible healthcare, food hygiene, bad water etc etc which, if it's true, I'm prepared to risk for me but not sure about the kids.

I though the wise oracles of Mumsnet would put me straight

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StickyNote · 09/08/2004 09:56

thought, sorry

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StickyNote · 09/08/2004 11:46

Anyone else with any experience?

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SenoraPostrophe · 09/08/2004 11:51

If it was me, I'd book a holiday in Goa (v near Mumbai, but quite Westernised - no real probs with water, low rate of malaria etc) and either meet her there or just visit for a few days.

But that's me - Cautious is my middle name (SenoraCautiousPostrophe ).

I know other people have travelled in India with kids without problems though. There's a good article in the Traveller's Handbook about it.

Beetroot · 09/08/2004 11:51

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

StickyNote · 09/08/2004 11:54

I'm not concerned about jabs, it's more that everyone who goes to India seems to end up with a stomach upset - we'd only be going for a week and I'm not sure about taking the kids, only for them to be laid up.

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Chandra · 09/08/2004 11:57

I have been there and if you are with somebody who knows how the things work/are done over there I would go. However, be prepared to adapt to the different environment as things are very different from what are here, it doesn't mean they are wrong they are just different, and as many tourist guides say, there's no middle point, you love it or you hate it.

Thinking about innoculations and malaria preventive medicines... I wouldn't put young children through them, we had no problem with the innoculations but the malaria medicines... we spend 2 weeks in bed throwing up and feeling awful because of the secondary efects of them.

motherinferior · 09/08/2004 12:00

Personally I would opt for malaria medication as malaria can kill, but that's just my view.

You may well get a stomach upset. You'll be somewhere very different. However, drink bottled and/or boiled water. And in Mumbai quite frankly you'll have access to extremely good health care?

motherinferior · 09/08/2004 12:00

(ahem) I am sounding vehement, aren't I...perhaps it's time to arrange a family visit!

Chandra · 09/08/2004 12:04

YEs, I agree with that, Malaria can kill that's why we took the medicines. What I was thinking when I wrote that is that I probably would wait until they are older.

India is fascinating, there's so many different things to see and do, if I just had a week, I would go without kids, and return at a later time when they can fully appreciate such a wonderful culture.

StickyNote · 09/08/2004 12:06

Thanks for this. I've no problems with the differences etc. - kids were born and spent their first years in Africa. I would love them to have the experience of going but wanted to try and get at whether stomach upsets are just a fact of life there or not IYSWIM. If there was a high likelihood that the kids would be sick, I'd rather leave them here for all concerned, but if it was, say, a 50/50 chance, I'd probably risk it.

I'm trying to decide now because I'm using Airmiles for the tickets and I have to book before the end of August.

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august24 · 09/08/2004 12:11

here is an old discussion where I wrote about my trip with my two girls. I am in the middle of getting ready for my holiday to Boston (I am leaving tomorrow!) but please contact me for more info. I say go for it. India is an incredible country and as long as you are careful you will have a wonderful time!

blossom2 · 09/08/2004 12:14


i haven't read all of this thread, but Junior Magazine did an article about a woman taking her adopted DD (4 year i think) to India.

the magazine's website is

hope it helps. Go for it

gloworm · 09/08/2004 12:18

when my sister went to india she was told to ask gp for latest maleria prevention...aparantly there are much less side effects with the new one. but many gp still use older style ones. (not 100% sure on this, but thought it was worth a mention anyway)
my sister and friends had no problems, followed all the advise, didnt get sick or bitten much.

They used tea tree oil a lot. took echinacea to boost immune system and avoid tummy bugs. and used really good inseat repellant.

StickyNote · 09/08/2004 12:50

Appreciate all these - sounds like if I'm v careful about what the kids eat/drink and smother them in insect repellent etc etc then the pros outweigh the cons.


MI - I asked the question about healthcare as someone I know told me it wasn't great when she was living there - she flew back to the UK to have her baby. The unfortunate thing is I can't wait for my friend to get out there and settle down before I book the tickets.

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Blu · 09/08/2004 12:52

tbh, if you have the opportunity of going without the kids, I would! Just to get some adult time with my friend and be able to make the most of exploring a new city without bearing anyone else's child-like preferences in mind! But that's my state of mind!

hercules · 09/08/2004 12:56

Dh grew up in India and says that as you are going with the equivalent of lots of money then you will be able to afford top stuff, 5 star hotels etc anyway so go for it.
I do have to say though other people we know who have taken their kids there have ended up with seriously ill children although I think this is more about slackness on the parents behalf.

beachyhead · 09/08/2004 13:06

I found out I was pregnant about 2 weeks before my second trip to India. I had had all the jabs before ttc, but I couldn't take makaria tablets. I took garlic tablets and used masses of citronella spray to keep them at bay. I've now got two kids 7 and 3 and am dying to go back to India. I think if the 3 year old was a bit more sensible, I'd go. They probably will get a stomach bug - take acidopholus tablets to give them if they do. Adults can eat masses of yogurt (but I wouldn't be able to get that down my children). Good Luck and have fun....

hazlinh · 10/08/2004 02:24

yes, it'll be a great holiday! but to repeat what some others on here have said, make sure you check out innoculations and stuff. apparently i caught whooping cough while on holiday there as a four-year old. I still have a horrible cough!!!

and make sure you only drink reputable bottled water!!! and dont take ice with your drinks cos it's likely to be unboiled tap water (i was told)

lou33 · 10/08/2004 13:30

We are taking ours to Thailand in December. If you want them to go with you then take them. It's a great country. Bombay, as it was when I was there, blew me away.

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