Vaccinations: Sacha Lee provides a helpful reminder to parents preparing for the summer holidays

Vaccinations: Sacha Lee provides a helpful reminder to parents preparing for the summer holidays

The summer school holidays are almost upon us which means that many parents will be planning to take their children on a summer holiday. For some, and especially given the current atrocious English weather, this may mean jet-setting to warmer climes for some sunshine or wanting to visit family and friends overseas.

However, many destinations require travellers to have certain vaccinations in order to travel there safely (or to be permitted entry). These could include, by way of example (and not an exhaustive list): rabies, tuberculosis, hepatitis, meningitis, cholera, measles, typhoid or yellow fever.

This decision-making falls under the umbrella of ‘Parental Responsibility’. Defined at section 3(1) of the Children Act 1989, Parental Responsibility ‘means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property’.

Put more simply, Parental Responsibility refers to decisions including, but not limited to, those about the health (including medical decisions), welfare, schooling, education, naming and religious upbringing of a child which parents have a duty to consult, share and inform each other about.

Therefore, those with Parental Responsibility who are seeking to travel with the child to destinations which require certain vaccinations should seek the consent of any other parties with Parental Responsibility in the first instance for the child to receive the vaccinations.

It is advisable to think about whether vaccinations are needed well in advance of the upcoming summer holidays, to avoid running out of time.

Commencing these discussions in plenty of time ahead of the proposed travel dates (and the deadline by when vaccinations would need to be administered) affords holders with Parental Responsibility for the child proper opportunity to consider the proposals, enable discussions and maximise the chances of constructive agreement being reached.

If you are struggling to reach agreement in respect of vaccinations, or if this raises other questions you may have about international travel or Parental Responsibility, or if you have any questions or concerns relating to the issues touched upon above, please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 (0)20 7242 2556 or at

The team at Dawson Cornwell are specialists in assisting parents with these issues. We work seamlessly to provide cost-effective and comprehensive solutions and we always focus on reaching an amicable agreement wherever possible. We also provide specialist services in mediation and collaborative law, two important forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Sacha Lee

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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