Alla Gordina, MD, FAAP 
Article Title
What should I do about water while adopting overseas? 
Posted Date

There is a famous Russian song about a waterman – he is so important, because you cannot get anywhere without water.

The water supply in the former Soviet Union can be sometimes or even constantly contaminated with viruses, bacteria and/or intestinal parasites. Those travelers, who have a weakened immunity, under a lot stress or with chronic health conditions, are at higher risk of getting infected. So how can we survive on the road in a developing country without reliable water supply?

Drinking water:

Bottled water is definitely an answer, but in Russia most of the bottled water is “with gas” and even non-carbonated water can contain a lot of minerals and salts. Boiling is another possibility. ELECTRIC TEAPOT or any other boiling device will provide you with the constant supply of the safe water for you and your child. It definitely is not recommended to use ice in your drinks.

Formula for babies; tea, coffee, etc for others:

Warm boiled water can be safely stored in a thermos (metal thermos is safer on the road for the obvious reasons) and then mixed with the formula for an instant warm drink for your baby. Even if your child is already on milk – I would still recommend using formula on the road. This way you would not be required to boil, refrigerate and warm food all over again. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, instant hot cereal and other foods alike can make your trip just a little bit easier and comforting.

Showers and baths:

    1. If you are concerned about water quality to the point that you don’t want to take a shower – , it should be noted that taking a bath is not safer, especially for women.
    2. Quick showers washing your hair face down, rather than face up, will reduce the risk of swallowing the water and therefore – the risk of infection.
    3. In the worst case scenario – you can use a sponge bath instead of a shower.
    4. It is recommended to brush your teeth and wash your toothbrush with boiled water as well.

This article was originally posted on in November 2002

The information appearing here is intended for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice tailored to your child's individual needs. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child's physical or mental health, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

GLOBAL PEDIATRICS is an international adoption medical support service that has specialized in assisting families adopting from the Former Soviet Union through every step of the adoption process for the past ten years. Dr. Gordina's unique professional background and attention to detail ensure the highest possible level of service. She is recognized by her patients and peers as a leader and pioneer in the field and has presented her adoption-related research at sessions of the AAP, JCICS, NACAS and other meetings. Dr. Gordina has both participated in and organized several humanitarian missions to pediatric clinics and orphanages in the Former Soviet Union. For all questions regarding our services please check 
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