“If Nothing Changes….”

by nicholmom3 on December 11, 2007

by:  Lettuce Wrap

While you’ve thought through everything from flight reservations to beach reads, you probably haven’t planned how to prevent the one thing that could suddenly and easily ruin your whole trip–getting sick.  If you have children, there is even more to worry about. 

Think it won’t happen to you? Experts estimate that traveler’s diarrhea alone, which is usually contracted via contaminated food or water, affects up to 50% of all international tourists for some period of time. Countless others catch nasty bugs from infected insects or simply by using public transportation.

I find that it helps a great deal to have a checklist for any vacation so that you can make sure to include any medication or items needed to protect you from all of the germs and infections just waiting for vacationers. 

Some Preventive Measures

One thing I always do is visit the pediatrician to get what our doctor calls his “Travel Happy Meal”.  Since my children were very small, he would include medication samples for fever, teething, earaches, nausea, diarrea, and even include prescriptions for Tylenol 3 if needed.  My children always had chronic ear infections so I planned ahead.  I have a list of items I make sure to pack for our family for possible illnesses or problems.  We all take  Juice Plus+®  which really helps us fight colds, flu, and other illnesses.  I highly recommend taking good vitamin supplements. 

If you’d like to spend your hard-earned vacation abroad seeing more than the inside of your hotel bathroom, before you leave, schedule a trip to a health-care provider who specializes in travel medicine. Aim for two months in advance of your departure date, although even a last-minute visit can offer a lot. You’ll get more than a shot in the arm. General education about smart traveling behavior is one of the most important things a specialist can provide.

It is highly likely that you’ll get a dose of bad bacteria from contaminated food that isn’t boiled, cooked or peeled.  Additionally, the more your meal is handled between being cooked and making it to your plate, the higher the risk. That’s why you might be better off eating something straight from a street vendor’s boiling pot than off a swanky hotel buffet that’s been sitting around for a while.

 I cannot stress enough the importance of learning about your destination, especially when travelling out of the country.  Swimming in the wrong place can give you all sorts of nasty infections.   Be careful where you decide to swim.

The CDC has country-by-country information on health hazards, and the State Department does, too. Take with you a list of U.S. embassies and consulates in case of an emergency.

 In my opinion, one of the wisest things you can do would be to register your trip with the State Department so the agency can find you easily.  With all the travelers who end up missing, I think this is a great idea.

Below are some links to help you when you next travel out of the country.

 Read the CDC’s complete list of what to pack in your travelers’ health kit.

Read the CDC’s country-by-country information on health hazards.

A list of U.S. embassies and consulates in case of an emergency. You can also register your trip with the State Department.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

myworld December 11, 2007 at 5:48 pm

Very good advice. It is sometimes easier to stay where we are, even if it isn’t working, waiting for some external force to change things. A good reminder that positive change usually comes from within. And congrats to both of you on the new jobs!

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