Taking Care of Your Family’s Health Overseas

Whether you are on holiday or planning to move to a new country, one thing you need to consider is the health implications for you and your family. There are several aspects to consider if you want to have a happy trip and avoid any medical problems when you leave your home country.

These issues can be broadly defined in three categories: care of ongoing health issues, first aid and minor conditions, and emergency provision. Health problems affect the whole trip for everyone, not just the person who is sick.

We invest so much time and money into travelling, the last thing anything wants is for it to be cut short.  So, managing potential health issues is a must.

Ongoing health issues

An ongoing health issue includes any illness or problem affecting a family member’s health you are already aware of. Common examples include asthma, epilepsy, mental health conditions, genetic conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, and allergies. You need to check with your doctor as to any advice they have for travelling.

There are restrictions on certain drugs being carried through customs in different countries.  For instance, the opioid drug Tramadol is often prescribed for chronic pain conditions, but due to its addictive properties and the problems it has caused in some parts of the world, you can face problems entering certain countries with it. If you’re planning on taking any medication with you, check whether there are any restrictions where you are going.

Make sure you get enough to last for the whole trip and a little longer, in case you get delayed. Don’t run the risk of running out of vital treatments as allergy medicine, inhalers, or epinephrine auto injectors.  It is not always easy to get medication you need abroad, especially specific prescriptions.

Changes that could affect those with chronic health conditions

When planning your trip, be aware of how changes in climate, humidity, air quality, food, and sleep may affect anyone with a health condition. An asthmatic might find their breathing affected by a big city or at a higher altitude. People with diabetes need to be able to eat and drink at the right time to avoid a hypoglycemic fluctuation. The stress of travelling could have an adverse effect on someone with high blood pressure or heart problems. There could be aspects of the new environment that could trigger allergic responses. For those with mental health issues, the entire process can be stressful and bewildering.

All these complications can be managed. You just need to make plans to accommodate everyone’s needs.

First aid

When on board an aircraft or a ship, the staff will have access to all the first aid facilities you might need if someone falls ill or gets injured.  It’s wise to let them know of any pre-existing conditions.

Once you reach your destination, you will probably have access to a first aid kit where you’re staying. But if you’re exploring somewhere off the beaten track, you will need to have some essential supplies with you.  Either way, check before you go, it’s not worth the risk of being caught out!

The advice on what to take can vary from place to place. It is also often updated, as knowledge about the best action to take improves. Check what is recommended on authoritative websites, and cross reference with any advice on extras you might need.  Also check for any local flora and fauna to be aware of, for example, jellyfish, poisonous plants, or spiders.  You don’t need to scare yourself silly,  just be aware of the main hazards to look out for.

You may feel more confident using a first aid kit if you’ve completed a first aid course. Taking a course isn’t expensive, and quite apart from being useful when you’re away, it’s also a highly valuable life skill to have. Knowing what to do if someone stops breathing, or being able to spot the signs of serious illnesses like a stroke can quite literally save lives.

Emergency treatment

The last thing you want to worry about if someone needs health care abroad is medical bills! Before you go, you should take out travel insurance that covers you for accident and illness abroad. Check the policy carefully to make sure it covers you for everything you are likely to be doing, as there can be exclusion clauses in the small print that mean certain conditions or activities aren’t covered without being added on.  Make sure you disclose any pre-existing conditions!

Make sure you’ve had all the vaccinations and any other preventative treatments required for the country you are visiting.  This advice is easily found online.

It’s good planning to find out about the health facilities where you’ll be staying. It’s handy to know where the nearest doctor or hospital is to you. The chances are slim that you will ever need this information, but just in case you do, it can save a lot of time and stress if you know what number to ring, or where you can obtain medical help.

 

If you’ve read through all this and are now thinking it sounds like you’d be safer staying at home, relax. The point of being prepared is to insure yourself against anything going wrong; it doesn’t mean that any of these problems will arise! By taking steps to be prepared for what could happen, and prevent as many problems as possible, you will have a much safer and happier trip. There’s no need to worry about what might happen because it probably won’t. Just the same as if you are at home, the key is to take the actions required to make the chances even more remote that health issues will have an impact.

Healthy Holidays: How to keep your family from getting ill

Healthy Holidays: how to keep your family from getting ill

Going on family holidays is always a great way to spend time together. However, there’s always the potential for your happy holiday to go awry. If someone in the family falling ill at home is difficult, it’s miserable when it happens on holiday. A stomach bug or even just a cold can throw off your plans. When an adult doesn’t feel good, they might be able to soldier on. But when one of your little ones is poorly, you can’t take them out sightseeing. The best way to keep everyone feeling in rude health is to take preventative measures. Stay healthy as a family when you next go away with these tips.

Healthy holidays

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Choose Your Destination Carefully

Staying healthy on your holiday starts long before you leave. When you’re deciding where to go, you should think about any health risks you might encounter. The first thing you should consider is whether there are any current risks you need to take into account. For example, you might be wary of going to countries with the Zika virus at the moment. You should weigh up the things that any of you might catch, from stomach bugs to more serious illnesses. If you want to play it safe, you might limit your potential destinations to only the safest of countries.

 

Preventative Medication and Vaccinations

If you’re going to a country that might pose some health risks, you should make sure you’re ready. It’s easy to prevent a large number of illnesses and disease with vaccinations. However, you usually need to get them at least a few weeks before you travel. There could be a few things you need vaccinations for, including hepatitis, yellow fever, and rabies. It’s also a good idea to have boosters for your usual vaccinations, such as polio and MMR. Sometimes you may need pills to take, such as for malaria. Fortunately, you can easily order malaria tablets online. It makes it much easier to get ready for your holiday.

 

Be Careful with Food and Water

A lot of people are wary of eating different food or even drinking water when they travel. They’re right to be careful, although much of the time you don’t need to worry. The most important thing to do is check just how careful you need to be. In some places, you shouldn’t be drinking the tap water, but in other locations it’s fine. You might need to be more careful about washing fruit before you eat it. It’s usually a good idea to be careful about eating street food. If your stomachs aren’t used to the local food, there’s a risk of tummy trouble.
Healthy holidays
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Be Careful of the Heat

If you don’t usually live in a particularly warm country, you’re probably not used to the heat. It’s important to be aware of the risks and how to protect everyone. Children, and especially those under two, are particularly at risk. Heat-related illnesses like heat stroke can be dangerous, so it’s essential to watch out for warning signs. You need to make sure everyone spends plenty of time in the shade and drinks enough water. When you’re out in the sun, get everyone covered up with clothes and with sunscreen.

 

Know Where to Go for Medical Help

It’s always a good idea to know where to go for medical help. In an emergency or even just when someone’s feeling under the weather, you don’t want to be frantically googling. At the very least, you need to know the emergency number in case you need an ambulance. It’s also useful to know where the nearest pharmacy is and where you can find an English-speaking doctor. A few useful phrases in the local language couldn’t go amiss, either. Just knowing a few body parts and how to say that something hurts is useful.

 

Get Out and About

Staying healthy during your holiday isn’t just about avoiding illness. It’s also a good idea to make sure you keep up healthy habits. Even though your holiday is a great time to indulge, you still need some vegetables now and then. Although you could relax by the pool for your whole holiday, getting out to do some things is a good idea too. Try to do some active things during your time away, whether it’s going for a walk or getting in the pool. It will help you make the most of your holiday time.

Keep your family happy and healthy while you’re on holiday by being prepared. You’ll all have a great time, hopefully without any illness.
Do you have any other tips that you would include to make sure you have healthy holidays?
Healthy Holidays