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An ounce of preparedness worth pound of cure while planning summer vacation

Part of staying healthy during trips is planning ahead of time


Summertime is in full swing, and many of us will be going out of town at least once to enjoy the season.

In all of the excitement of picking out the restaurants we want to check out, or the views we want to catch on camera, it is also important to consider how to stay healthy during each adventure.

Minor injuries and poor health can ruin a vacation in an instant; fortunately, a little preparedness can go a long way in helping you enjoy every second of your travel.

Part of staying healthy during your trip comes from planning ahead of time.

Make sure you have enough of your prescription medications to get you through your travels, with a little bit extra; you never know if your flight will be delayed, your car will break down or if natural disasters will keep you away from home longer than expected.

Keep a detailed list of medications, doses and frequency in your purse or wallet at all times, just in case you lose your luggage.

If flying, medications should always be packed in carry-on luggage, as checked baggage may be lost or misplaced for several days.

Other useful items to bring in your bag may include anti-diarrheal medication, antihistamines, decongestants, anti-motion sickness medications, medication for pain or fever, mild laxatives, cough drops, antacids and hydrocortisone cream.

Before taking any of the above medications, you should consult with your doctor to make sure they will not have any adverse effects when combined with your prescriptions.

If you are able to take them, they may save you a good deal of discomfort on the road, especially if you are going to a location where pharmacies may be scarce. Depending on where you are going, insect spray, sunscreen and other basic first-aid items may also be useful.

Before leaving for your destination, you should also be aware of any additional medications you will need to take on your trip (like malaria medication) or vaccines you will need to get prior to leaving.

You should also research the availability of local urgent care clinics and hospitals, and make sure that you are covered by your healthcare insurance in that area.

If you are not covered, you may need to purchase additional coverage for the duration of your stay.

While on your trip, take extra care to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and be aware of whether or not the tap water is safe to drink, and whether certain foods are safe to eat.

Unnecessary safety risks should also be avoided, such as traveling at night or alone, drinking excessive alcohol, etc.

If traveling by vehicle, always wear a seatbelt, and try to avoid crowded buses.

If vacationing on the water, remember to use a life jacket if boating or engaging in any water sports.

Although it may be easy to forget to take these kinds of precautions when relaxing and having fun are your top priorities, keeping your vacation fun includes looking out for your well-being, too.

Once home, check in with how you are feeling.

If, after a few days, you develop a fever or other symptoms that require medical assistance, be sure to tell your doctor about your recent travels.

Vacations are meant for having fun and creating good memories, and if you thoroughly plan for your health and safety, the rest will follow.

Whether by train, plane or automobile, here’s to your safe travels.

Patra Murdock, FNP, is located at Woodburn Immediate Care in Woodburn. To schedule an appointment, call 971-983-5360.




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  • 22 Dec 2014

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