I'm a full-time mom, part-time preschool teacher who believes experiences are more important than things, travel is one of the best ways to learn compassion for other cultures, and now is the time to make memories with the ones you love.

  • Jana Mascioni

What to do if Your Kid Gets Sick in Italy

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

List of English-Speaking Italian Hospitals & Clinics Included



It's inevitable; every time our family travels overseas, someone gets sick at some point. I blame it on the exposure to germs on long flights and the initial fatigue from jet lag. A few years ago, on our daughter's first trip to Italy when she was a one-year-old, it was her turn to get sick.


I understand the thought of navigating a healthcare system in a foreign country may be a little unsettling to you. In this post, I will walk you through our experience plus give you some tips on what you should be traveling with, how an Italian Pharmacy can help you, general information about the Italian Healthcare system, and a list of English-speaking Hospitals and Medical Groups in Italy by city.


If your kid gets sick in Italy, you do not want to delay care and risk getting on the flight back home only for them to get sicker or be uncomfortable the whole time. Have them looked at by a pharmacist or doctor in Italy first to help relieve systems and make sure it’s not something serious.



Travel with a Small Medical Kit


My first advice when traveling with kids to Italy is to always go with some essential medical items like a thermometer and a fever reducer. Of course, these are items you would be able to find in a pharmacy in Italy. However, if your family is anything like ours, fevers and sickness usually strike at night, so it's helpful to have a few essential items easily on hand. For a suggested list of over the counter medicines, suggested packing list and carry-ons by age download my Free Travel Planner here.



Italian Pharmacies


For symptoms that you wouldn’t head to the Emergency Room like an upset stomach or sore throat, your first stop should be the Pharmacy to speak with a pharmacist. Italian pharmacists are an excellent resource for help with minor issues; they have more leeway in dispensing advice and selling pharmaceuticals than in the US. You may be able to get a prescription directly from them if needed.


You can find a pharmacy by asking someone for directions or looking for a green neon cross outside the store. In the major cities, you should have no problem finding a pharmacist who speaks English. I do have a list of common phrases you may use in a pharmacy if your child is not feeling well here. You may also want to ask them for recommendations of a nearby Pediatrician or Emergency Room you could visit if symptoms persist or get worse.


Our Experience Visiting an Italian Hospital


When we were in Rome, Italy, while our daughter was one-year-old, she developed a fever that lasted a few days. Our first stop was to the Pharmacy to speak with the pharmacist, they directed us to a pediatric fever reducer to give her and the recommended dose.


After a couple of sleepless nights where the fever persisted, we decided we wanted to see a doctor to have her checked out before we got on the long plane flight back home. We were staying at our family’s home on the outskirts of Rome and drove to the local public Hospital. At the reception, we explained our daughter's symptoms and gave proof of my husband's EU status (my tips below cover what you need if you are not an EU citizen), so there was no charge for the visit. We were directed to a small waiting room and told once the doctor was ready, only one of us would be able to go in with our daughter. I do not know if it is common practice only to have one parent go into the examination room with the child in all Italian Hospitals, but I tell you this so you might know what to expect.


They proceeded to give her an examination and determined from her swollen red throat that it was sore. Something our then one-year-old daughter was not able to tell us. There was nothing they could give us to make the virus that was making her sick go away faster, but they were able to prescribe a saline solution to soothe her throat as well as recommend to continue with the fever reducer.


The Hospital was clean and modern, and we received good care. Italy is ranked within the top 10 countries for quality health services by the World Health Organization. Do not hesitate to visit a doctor if needed. Having the information on how to better soothe our daughter was especially valuable for our flight home. Had she been uncomfortable and crying the whole flight, it would have been miserable for everyone.


It's important to note when traveling there are some conditions that can be dangerous to fly with. For example, an ear infection could result in an eardrum rupture due to depressurization on an airplane. So please don't delay seeking medical advice.


Tips

  • Before leaving for your trip to Italy, be sure to obtain travel medical insurance that covers medical treatments, hospitalizations, and medical evacuations. (Especially important if you are not an EU citizen.) Download my Free Travel Planner here for a complete checklist of everything you need to do before leaving for your trip to Italy with kids.

  • Be sure to bring the medical insurance information with you.

  • If anyone in your family is being treated for a chronic condition, travel with a list of the diagnosis and current medications. I recommend traveling with a medical card, like this one. (View my other suggested travel gear, packing gear, and carry-on items in my shop.)

  • In case of an emergency, refer to the nearest Hospital. Most general and regional hospitals have emergency rooms, which operate 24 hours 7 days a week. To call an ambulance, or if you require immediate medical attention, dial 118 (toll-free) from any telephone in Italy. You can also call the Police by dialing 113, which is equivalent to 911 in the US.

  • There are private and public hospital options. In smaller towns, especially in Southern Italy, there will mostly be public hospital options. At public hospitals, patients may receive emergency services at no cost or upon payment of a limited contribution, depending on the public Hospital's policy. Non-emergency services provided by public hospitals are subject to a fee. For an emergency or doctor's visit, a public hospital would be fine. If you end up needing to stay in the Hospital overnight, a private Hospital would most likely have more comforts and conveniences.

  • The Hospitals found in the larger cities in Northern and Central Italy (including Rome) have the best reputations.

  • Before leaving for your trip, do a little research to find hospitals you would go to if you needed to. You can also ask hotels for their recommendations. See my list below of recommended hospitals & Medical Groups by location.



Italian English Speaking Hospitals & Medical Groups by Location


Rome


MedInAction : An on-demand, English-speaking medical service that delivers doctors (including pediatricians) to home or hotel 24/7. Book your licensed physician online through the website, mobile app or phone. For more information, visit their website www.medinaction.com.


International Care Rome: the international department of Cristo Re Hospital (Ospedale Cristo Re) dedicated to guaranteeing attention to tourists, expats, and students in need of medical assistance during their stay in Rome. For more information, visit their website www.internationalcarerome.com .


Medical Dimension: They provide pediatric and generic consultations in their medical office in the center of Rome and make house calls with English speaking doctors. For more information, visit their website https://www.medicaldimension.net/DefaultEN.aspx?l=en.


Doctors in Italy: A team of outstanding English speaking Doctors in Rome and dedicated staff available 24/7 for urgent care. Appointments can be made online for the clinic and house calls. Walk-ins are accepted too. For more information, visit their website www.doctorsinitaly.com .


Aventino Medicala Group: An international group of doctors, surgeons, and healthcare professionals that offer their expertise in various areas of specialization, including pediatrics. For more information, visit their website https://www.aventinomedicalgroup.com/en/homepage/ .


American Dental Studios: English speaking dentist available for appointments and emergencies every day. For more information, visit their website https://americandentalstudios.com/ .



Florence


MedInAction : An on-demand, English-speaking medical service that delivers doctors (including pediatricians) to home or hotel 24/7. Book your licensed physician online through the website, mobile app, or phone. For more information, visit their website www.medinaction.com.


Medical Dimension: They provide house calls with English speaking doctors. For more information, visit their website https://www.medicaldimension.net/DefaultEN.aspx?l=en.


Meyer Children's Hospital: An official member of the European Network of Health Promoting Hospitals of the World Health Organization. Not necessarily an English speaking hospital, but here should be English speaking doctors, and it's an entire Emergency room and Hospital dedicated just to children. For more information, visit their website: http://www.meyer.it/index.php/en/


Health Services Firenze: English speaking physicians are available for walk-ins or 24/7 house calls. For more information, visit their website http://www.medicalservice.firenze.it/ .



Milan


MedInAction : An on-demand, English-speaking medical service that delivers doctors (including pediatricians) to home or hotel 24/7. Book your licensed physician online through the website, mobile app, or phone. For more information, visit their website www.medinaction.com.


Medical Dimension: They provide house calls with English speaking doctors. For more information, visit their website https://www.medicaldimension.net/DefaultEN.aspx?l=en.


International Health Center: International Group of English Speaking Doctors and Dentists providing friendly and professional care for families. For more information, view the website www.ihc.it .


Milan Medical Center: a multi-specialized medical center including pediatrics with English speaking doctors.



Naples, Bologna, Venice, and Padua


MedInAction : An on-demand, English-speaking medical service that delivers doctors (including pediatricians) to home or hotel 24/7. Book your licensed physician online through the website, mobile app, or phone. For more information, visit their website www.medinaction.com.



Naples, Parma, Venice, Lido di Venezia, Mestre, Padua, Turin, Bologna, and Genova


Medical Dimension: They provide house calls with English speaking doctors. For more information, visit their website https://www.medicaldimension.net/DefaultEN.aspx?l=en.


Your next step in planning your trip to Italy with kids is downloading my Free Travel Planner! Included in the planner is:

  • Travel Planner Timeline

  • Suggested Travel Gear

  • Carry-on Checklist by Age

  • Packing Checklist by Age

  • Discount Codes for Tours, Rentals, Babysitters & More!

  • Weekly e-mails with helpful tips.

  • Sign up to download the planner here:

I promise not to spam you and only use this information to send you updates from the blog and information relevant to traveling to Italy with kids.


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Related Posts:

Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Trip to Italy with a Baby or Toddler

11 Best Tips for Traveling to Italy with Kids

Important Italian Phrases for Travel with Kids


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I'm a full-time mom, part-time preschool teacher who believes experiences are more important than things, travel is one of the best ways to learn compassion for other cultures, and now is the time to make memories with the ones you love.

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