Travelling? Don’t Leave Home Without a Health & Wellness Checklist
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Heading south this winter? Taking a bucket list trip? Travelling for the holidays?
“Travelling involves realities such as congested airports, airborne germs on planes, trains and buses, and changes in temperature, food and routine — all of which can play havoc with one’s health,” Billy Cheung, Executive Director, Pharmacy & Professional Affairs of Pharmasave Ontario says.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common health problems associated with travel to developing countries, in particular are diarrhea, malaria, acute respiratory tract infections and influenza.
Those could take the wind out of just about anyone’s wanderlust. Before your next trip, Cheung has the following tips for prevention and preparedness.
“Speak with your pharmacist or doctor about vaccines that may be required, depending on where you’re headed as well as your age.”
Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a list of destination-specific vaccines and medications to prevent illnesses such as yellow fever, malaria or elevation sickness, for example. Also, try CANImmunize, a free app with which you can store your (or your entire family’s) immunization records, and access information on vaccines specific for kids, adults and travellers.
Taking along the following may mean investing in a toiletry kit that’s a little more robust but surely our health is worth the extra space — and a checked baggage fee.
Cheung’s top picks are pain and fever medication, cold or sinus caplets, anti-diarrhea pills, oral rehydration salts for managing fluid loss due to diarrhea or vomiting, antihistamines to treat potential allergic reactions to food or insect bites, decongestants (making sure there are no contraindications), antifungal cream, and hydrocortisone cream for irritated or itchy skin.
Items that may help prevent nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness include a Scopolamine patch, Gravol, ginger root, and wrist bands that exert pressure and stimulate the P6 acupressure point.