February 25, 2016 - By Injury Law Group
Travel Safety Tips
With March break soon approaching in the New Year, it is important to remember safety when taking a vacation to avoid injury and health risks. The following are some basic travelling safety tips for your next vacation.
- Keep up to date on the safety and health risks of your vacation destination by visiting The Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.
- Carry a travel health kit including a first aid kit with bandages, sanitizer, wound cleanser, blister pads, disposable gloves, gauze, oral rehydration salt packets, safety pins and scissors, tensor bandages, a thermometer, and tweezers. Discuss the use of medications with your health care provider prior to travelling and follow the directions for use. Ensure that you have enough medication to last more than the whole trip. Basic medications to include in your kit are your normal prescriptions, hydrocortisone cream for minor skin irritations, allergy medications, antidiarrheal, motion sickness medication, antifungal and antibacterial creams, cold and flu medication, pain and fever medications, stomach medications such as antacids, destination-specific mediations such as those for malaria, and if you require needles or syringes, take more than enough and carry a medical certificate from your health care practitioner. Additional items to consider packing include sunscreen, extra glasses and contacts, bug spray, and eye drops. Consult your health care provider when travelling with prescription medication and medical devices.
- Keep an emergency information card with contact information of a friend or family member from home, your health care provider’s contact information, the contact information for your hotel, information for hospitals at your destination, the information for the Canadian Embassy at your destination, contact information of your insurance provider, and a copy of your immunization record.
- Keep proof of your insurance coverage with you. It is recommended that you purchase travel insurance, even if travelling on a day trip to the United States. Travel insurance should include health, life, and disability coverage to avoid large hospital expenses outside of Canada. If you are flying, insurance for flight cancellation, lost luggage document replacement, and trip interruption may be helpful. Or, if you are driving, ensure that you have proper car insurance.
- Visit a health care provider prior to travelling and ensure you are in good health and have the proper immunizations and vaccinations before travelling abroad.
- If you are concerned with contaminated food and water at your destination, some helpful tips include: boil food, cook it, peel it or leave it; always practice hand hygiene, eat only hot or cooked foods, only eat fruits and vegetables that you have washed and peeled yourself, avoid salads or fresh produce, avoid food from street vendors, drink water only if it is disinfected or boiled or in a commercially sealed bottle, only use ice from purified water, brush your teeth with purified water, avoid unpasteurized dairy and fruit juice. For swimming and bathing, avoid getting water in your mouth, eyes, ears, or nose.
- Practice sun safety by dressing for the weather with light coloured, loose fitting, breathable clothing, staying hydrated, avoiding sun exposure by using hats and sunglasses, and sunscreen, and limit time in the sun between 11am and 4pm.
- When traveling with a disability, make sure the airline is aware so it can make accommodations, meet your safety needs, and transport mobility aids if needed. Consult with your physician prior to travelling, and bring documentation that supports your medical condition.
- If you plan on swimming at your destination, make sure that you are mindful of weather conditions, swim at a lifeguard protected beach when possible, do not drink alcohol and swim, never swim alone, never turn your back on the ocean waves, watch for rip currents, stay close to the shores, avoid rocky coastal areas, and boating areas, do not dive or jump in the water if you don’t know the depth, and watch out for coral and sea life.
For more information on vacation safety, click here