As the cold weather and inevitable snow arrives, many of us start planning our winter escape. Booking a flight, finding a dog-sitter and stopping the newspaper delivery will make the to-do list, but have you thought about ways to ensure you stay healthy while on the road?
Getting sick or injured on vacation can be a nightmare. To avoid putting holiday fun on hold while dealing with medical concerns, take these steps to help make certain you and your family stay well on your next getaway.
1. Have up-to-date immunizations
Routine immunizations, such as tetanus, measles, mumps, influenza, polio and pneumococcal disease, should always be kept current. Depending on where you are travelling, other immunizations may be necessary. In fact, some countries can refuse entry if you don’t have proof you’ve received a certain vaccine.
2. Prepare for jet lag and reduce its effects
While jet lag may not seem like a big deal, its symptoms can put a damper on activities. Sleep, disturbances, excessive daytime sleepiness, reduced performance (which can be dangerous if driving), gastrointestinal problems and general malaise with headache are common issues.
If possible, beforehand, start adjusting your waking hours to get closer to those of the destination you are visiting. Choose daytime flights to minimize loss of sleep and fatigue, and avoid large fatty meals, caffeine and alcohol during the flight. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your flight. Stay up until it’s dark once you arrive at your destination, and get up with the sun. Exposure to bright morning light can help your body adjust to the new time zone.
3. Pack a medical kit
Take the time to organize a medical kit with any required prescription medicines. Bring along bandages, rehydration salts, as well as over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol and Polysporin. And don’t forget DEET bug spray and sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, SPF 30 or higher!
4. Watch what you eat and drink
Every week, at least 30 per cent of international travellers experience a diarrheal illness. Prevention includes careful attention to food selection and safe water consumption. The best way to prevent food-borne illnesses is to follow this rule: “Cook it, boil it, peel it or forget it.”
Pay attention to water used in your drinks, ice cubes or food preparation. If water safety is unknown, drink bottled, chemically treated, filtered or boiled water.
5. Consider a travel health consultation
At Copeman Healthcare, we review our clients’ travel risks and provide appropriate vaccinations and medications. We also offer education about food and water safety measures, insect precautions, altitude sickness prevention and management, jet lag management and any other topics applicable to a destination.
And if you do get sick … call on Medisys On-Demand.
Even with the best-laid plans, accidents and illnesses can happen. But with virtual care, at the push of a button you can receive real-time medical support via your mobile device.
Medisys On-Demand will connect you with an experienced, Canadian nurse practitioner by text or video chat, no matter the time or location. All you need is a smartphone and Internet connection. Whether you’re at a work meeting across the country or relaxing with family in Mexico, this telehealth solution ensures you get Canadian quality care, while you are away from home.
From bug bites and eye infections to food poisoning or a prescription refill, you can get fast, convenient and secure medical advice with the Medisys On-Demand app. Best of all, your Copeman care team will be in the loop and be able to follow up with you once you return home.
Enjoy your trips to the fullest. Get in touch with Copeman Healthcare to find out more about Medisys On-Demand, travel health services and the many conveniences of the Copeman Healthcare model; contact your local clinic, 1-888-922-2732.