Summer is finally here! You probably have plans to visit friends and family, go to the beach or an adventure park, or even fly to a far-off destination or another country. No matter what your plans are, make the most of your trip with these 10 tips for safe summer travel.
But remember, if you aren’t feeling well before your trip, come in to see Dr. Rogers Walker or Angela Cooper, PA-C, a certified physician assistant at Walker Family Care in Little River, South Carolina. We’ll make sure you’re okay and feeling better for your getaway.
Ready? Let’s go!
Get your car serviced
If your family is going on a road trip this summer, it’s essential to get a tune-up on your car, so you stay safe on the road. In addition to making sure there are no mechanical problems, all fluids should be topped off, all light bulbs should be working, and tires should be inflated to their manufacturer’s recommendations. Don’t forget to fill up your gas tank before you go.
Stock an emergency kit for the car
It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in the car, whether you’re taking a road trip or not. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends packing the following items:
- Extra water
- Blankets to keep you warm
- A flashlight
- A first aid kit (with alcohol wipes and bandages at the bare minimum)
- A cell phone that’s fully charged
- Flares and jumper cables in case you break down
Bring a back-up battery source for cell phones, and make sure you have the phone numbers for any roadside assistance programs to which you belong such as AAA or those through your auto insurance or car maker.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
This is a no brainer since it’s summer, but with all the excitement about your trip, planning, and packing, you may overlook this essential summer staple. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends SPF 30 or higher, and one that is water-resistant. You should also wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
You never know what kind of issues you may encounter on the road. Be sure you have plenty of snacks and water, and be generous with those bathroom breaks. They’ll give everyone a chance to stretch. Such breaks are also good times to switch drivers.
Pack all prescription medications for family and pets
Don’t forget to pack prescription medications for all family members, including the furry ones. You may also want to pack over-the-counter medications you take for headaches, minor aches, and pains, or allergies.
Watch for ticks and mosquitoes
If your summer travels take you to one of the country’s beautiful national parks, campgrounds, or a secluded spot in the mountains, watch for ticks and mosquitoes. An insect repellant may help, but it’s a good idea to check yourselves every time you go inside. If there’s a tick embedded in your skin, pull it straight out with a pair of tweezers, and submerge it in rubbing alcohol. It’s important to make sure you get the whole thing. Get to a local doctor if you start to feel ill, or come to see us as soon as you get home.
If there’s three, let it be
When hiking in the woods, be on the lookout for poison ivy and poison oak. They won’t kill you, but they’ll make you miserable. Look for leaves that are clustered in sets of three, and avoid them. If you happen to touch them and get the oils on your skin, wash with warm soapy water as soon as possible. You’ll also want to wash your clothes. Rubbing alcohol can help remove the oils from your skin, too. If you get an itchy rash, try not to scratch it because it could become infected. Use oral antihistamines and topical locations to control the itch.
Beach and pool safety
Keep a close eye on children in swimming pools; if at the beach, obey signs about rip currents and be on the lookout for sharks. Shark bites are rare, but they do happen.
Prepare for medical emergencies
Know the name and location of urgent care centers and hospitals near your destination. If you need to call 9-1-1, it helps to know the name of the road you’re on in case there’s a problem locating you. Also, don’t leave home without your insurance cards.
Travel to another country
Traveling to another country can be exciting, but it’s essential to learn all you can about your destination ahead of time to travel smart. Certain destinations also require vaccinations against diseases like yellow fever. Refer to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for the latest travel warnings and recommendations.
Follow these tips for safe summer travel and have a great time! Contact us with any questions or health concerns before your trip or after you get home. Just give us a call, or use our convenient online booking tool.