HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH WHILE TRAVELING
Traveling is a great experience. However, if we’re not following our normal eating and sleeping schedules, we’re more prone to get sick. A new environment’s food, drink, and air requires some getting used to. Travel-related illnesses like motion sickness, diarrhea, and infections are also a concern for children.
Keeping your family healthy while traveling can be made easier with advance planning and thoughtful packing.
What Should I Do to Prepare for a Foreign Visit?
To have a safe and enjoyable trip overseas, plan ahead. For example, it’s crucial to know what immunizations your children (and perhaps yourself) may need because:
Vaccines may be required in certain nations due to various dangers and regulations. If you’re planning a trip to tropical South America or sub-Saharan Africa, your family will need the yellow fever vaccine, but not if you’re going to Eastern Europe.
Certain vaccines are given in several doses over a period of days or even weeks.
There is a lag in the effectiveness of most vaccines.
Travelers should have their routine shots at least a month in advance of their departure. So, schedule an appointment with your physician at least four to six weeks before departing on your trip. Your child may still benefit from vaccines or medications if you wait until the last minute to schedule an appointment.
Related article: The Coronavirus Vaccine
Travel Mishaps That Abound
Regardless of how far you’re going, your family is sure to have some health difficulties, such as jet lag, ear discomfort, motion nausea, and diarrhea.
Experiencing the effects of jet lag
It may take some time for your internal body clock to catch up with the local time if you fly across time zones. You may be ready to go to sleep at 6 p.m. in California if your normal bedtime is 9 p.m. in New York and you travel to California, where the time is 3 hours earlier, because you’ve already been up for the normal length of time and your body is ready to rest. Because your body has been awake longer than usual, you’ll likely be exhausted when you finally go to sleep around 9 p.m., when the local time is.
A plane’s middle ear is put under strain as it tries to keep up with the rapidly fluctuating air pressure during takeoff and landing. Children should be encouraged to yawn or chew gum if they are old enough. It’s possible that nursing or sucking on a bottle helps infants.
As an additional precaution, you may want to give your child acetaminophen 30-60 minutes prior to takeoff or, in the case of a long flight, upon arrival.
The conflict between the sight and the ear is the root cause of motion sickness. The inner ears sense movement, but the eyes, which are concentrated within a vehicle, do not. Some of the symptoms that might result from the brain receiving conflicting signals include nausea, dizziness, vomiting, paleness, and cold sweats.
While traveling, diarrhea and other digestive issues are typical. When food or water is polluted, bacteria and other pathogens can enter the digestive tract. When it comes to diarrhea, young children and babies are particularly vulnerable to dehydration since their bodies lose water at a rate that adults cannot match.
In many impoverished countries, water sources aren’t treated to the same standards as those in more developed countries, therefore, it’s possible that they include pathogens like bacteria and viruses.
Ahead of Time
Pack any medications or other medical supplies that you and your family frequently use. ‘Some of these may be difficult to come by depending on where you end up. Don’t forget to pack inhalers, allergy medicine, and insulin if you’re going to require it.
Carrying a documented record of your child’s medical history is also a good idea. If necessary, health care providers can use this information to make treatment decisions. Because of this, there will be no need for you to worry about forgetting vital details at a time when you’re likely to be emotionally distraught.
Not to Mention..
The same health and safety precautions should be taken while you’re away from home.
Make sure you don’t transfer germs by washing your hands. You should wash your hands regularly and correctly. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol should be used for at least 20 seconds. Educate your children in the same way. It’s best to avoid sick people and to keep at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from those who are coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading illness. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth while you’re driving. Frequently touched surfaces and items can be cleaned with wipes.
Sun smarts. Monitor the amount of time your youngsters spend outside in the sunlight. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV light is reflected off water or snow, UV light is most strong at high elevations and near the equator. At least an SPF 15 sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Make sure your child’s face is protected from the sun by bringing a hat and sunglasses. And don’t forget to cover up with sunblock.
The protection of one’s life at sea. Any time you’re near water, keep an eye on your children. Life jacket and goggles are essential if you plan on spending any time in or around water.
Hold on tight. Bringing your child’s car seat along with you when renting a car is a good idea, as properly maintained, and certified seats may not be available when traveling. Children under the age of 40 pounds must be securely strapped in a car seat to avoid serious injury or death. The manufacturer recommends that infants and toddlers ride rear-facing until they reach the weight and height limits of the seat.
When the moment arrives, all you’ll have to do is relax and enjoy yourself as a result of your preparations.