School is out and it is officially summer vacation. Six out of ten families will be hitting the road and the skies at one point or another during the break. Family ER of Cedar Park wants to make sure you get to your destination safely and in good health.
With proper preparation, your family can remain healthy while traveling.
Make a health kit – Put a pack of key items together for those unexpected circumstances. A first aid kit is always a must. It doesn’t have to be big, just the basics will do. Stop by Family ER of Cedar Park for a free pocket size first aid kit, perfect for your purse or overnight bag. Also think about Travelers Tummy and pick up some over-the-counters medicines like Ibuprofen, Imodium, Dramamine and Tums. You will thank us when your child’s tummy turns in mid flight.
Current Health – If you have a chronic illness and/or prescription medication, check with your primary physician prior to your trip to make sure you are cleared to travel. If okay, pack enough medication for your entire trip. Always keep it on hand, in your purse or carry on. This will decrease the likelihood of your medications getting lost. Just in case, make sure there is a pharmacy nearby your destination.
Vaccines – Many will travel abroad this summer. It’s important to make sure you know the countries current health status and get the mandated vaccines required to enter that country. For a list of what is required where, click here: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
Pregnant? – Sit down with your OBGYN to discuss any complications that might arise while traveling. Don’t plan to travel too close to your due date.
I.C.E. (In Case of Emergency) – Make sure your Emergency information is set up on your Smart Phone. Most phones have this option for first responders to know your information. Click here to learn more: http://thebig98.iheart.com/onair/tige-and-daniel-55580/hospital-employee-shares-iphone-tip-that-14277694/
Know where to go – Whether you are traveling near or far, it is a good idea to know where the nearest medical facility is located to your destination (and along the way). You never know what may happen. With the evolution of Smart Phones, there are several Apps that are great for this.
- Around Me – A great app for not only nearest emergency rooms but also gas, banks, groceries, etc.
- Travel Smart – Uses your location to find closest healthcare facility. Should you be traveling where you don’t speak the language, it also has a translation perk that can help you translate first aid terms and medicines.
- iTriage – Locates the nearest ER and tells you how long the wait time is. It even checks you in if the center has that option.
HITTING THE PAVEMENT?
Loading up the car for an exciting road trip is the top method of travel for families. There are more people on the road during the summer months than any other time of the year. More teenagers are on the road since school is out and other families are taking their vacations too. This unfortunately means there are more accidents. Here are some important car travel health and safety tips to prepare for a smooth road ahead.
Seat Belts! Seat Belts! Seat Belts! – We cannot stress this enough. Believe it or not, some people still chose not to wear their seat belt while in a vehicle. Not wearing a seat belt is the number one killer in auto accidents. WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT. It’s the law!
Do not drink and drive – Another one we cannot stress enough. Alcohol impairs your vision, your reaction time, and your decision making, all of which can lead to fatal events. If you choose to drink, have a designated driver or ride arrangements made.
Carry a First Aid Kit – Injuries can happen even on the road. Make sure your first aid kit is well stocked with the appropriate items. It is always good to have one in the car at all times anyway.
Do not text and drive – Texting while driving is another leading cause of accidents. Text messaging can wait until you’re parked safely off the road. This includes looking at your GPS App for directions. If you do not have a co-pilot that can manage the directions, then print them out ahead of time. Refer to them when you stop to rest or stretch your legs.
Do not overdo it – If you’re planning a long road trip, take turns driving. If you’re driving solo, take breaks, get a cup of coffee, stretch your legs, and get a little catnap in. Never drive tired. Stop to rest.
Take healthy snacks – Packing some healthy snacks will help avoid the fast food line.
Get your car checked out – Just like making sure you’re healthy enough to travel, your car needs to be healthy too. If it’s due for service, take it in prior to wheels on the pavement. You don’t want to get stranded. Get an oil change before you leave too. Don’t forget a car wash. Starting a trip is nice with a clean car. Plus counting the bugs on the windshield at each stop makes for a fun game (well at least for the kiddos).
TRAVELING BY PLANE?
A lot of people say they always get sick from being on a plane. This is all too true. Being in a small, confined space with lots of people can be a goldmine for illnesses. You are 20% more likely to catch a cold from a fellow passenger than being on the ground. Our bodies “natural defense,” known as our Mucociliary Clearance System, becomes vulnerable while you are in the air. When planes are 30,000 to 35,000 feet in the air, the mucus inside our noses and throats starts to dry out due to the low humidity levels onboard. This allows an open gateway for germs.
The best way to avoid getting sick on a plane is to wear a mask. Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable doing this. Here are two more ways to ward off germs while traveling via flight:
Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water before and during your flight, especially for longer flights. Water will help keep your nose and throat lubricated to avoid drying out as quickly. Try to take little sips at a time so that you are not getting up every 10 minutes to use the restroom. If you are starting to feel a little dried out, a simple saline based nasal spray will help do the trick. Make sure to follow the instructions and do not use it more than needed.
Wash your hands – This may go without saying but you would be shocked on how dirty planes truly are. Planes have germs EVERYWHERE! Airlines do not have the time to properly disinfect between flights. Meaning hundreds of people every flight are touching the same things you are. Wash and wash often! Your hands are the number one carrier of germs.
You never know what might happen while you’re away from home. With these safety tips, you can help ensure your family has a healthy vacation. Family ER of Cedar Park wants you to have fun and create amazing memories! Enjoy your trip, stay safe and stay healthy. If you’re having a stay-cation, Family ER is here for you 24/7 in case the unexpected happens.