Summer vacation season is just beginning and it’s important to keep a few simple safety tips in mind while you travel to help you and your family avoid some common pitfalls. Water safety is important no matter where you are but can be especially important when you’re visiting somewhere new.
- Even if your children are confident swimmers, accidents can happen, which is why you should always supervise them around water and stay within arms-reach.
- Staying hydrated is also important, but you want to make sure you’re drinking clean, filtered water – not water from streams, lakes or pools.
- If kids are still in diapers, you want to make sure that they have appropriate swimwear that will help avoid any accidents.
Bug bites can also be quite the nuisance if you’re out camping or hiking, and in some cases, quite dangerous. Tick bites, in particular, can cause serious health conditions such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. To prevent tick bites, wear long sleeves and pants and remember to use bug repellant when spending time outdoors. Do a skin check after you’ve been outdoors and remove any ticks you find. If you are concerned about a tick bite, make an appointment with your physician or visit an urgent care.
If your travel plans include road trips, try schedule a break every two hours or so. Stop, use the restroom, stretch your legs and rehydrate before you get back on the road. It’s easy to become dehydrated on a long trip and, by stretching your legs, you’ll reduce your risk of developing a blood clot from sitting for so long. It’s also a good idea to pack a travel safety kit in your car. You can start with a basic first aid kit that includes a topical cream in case of rash, disinfectant, and an ice pack. If you have allergies, make sure you pack a new EpiPen. Since you’ll be in the car, it may also help to have road flares and jumper cables on hand just in case.
If anything does happen, don’t wait to see your primary care physician. You can find a local emergency department or urgent care, depending on your needs. If you aren’t close to either, you can try a local pharmacist to at least help you decide on your next steps. In many situations, it’s better to find help and get checked out sooner rather than wait and hope you feel better the next day. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of healthcare providers dedicated to providing proper treatment to patients who have experienced a common summertime injury or health condition.
Dr. Zoe Stallings is a family medicine physician with Primary Care at Pomona and a member of Cone Health Medical Group. Dr. Stallings received a Bachelor of Sciences in biosciences from the University of Chicago. She attended medical school at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency at West Suburban Medical Center (Illinois).