Summer has almost officially started and so have the thoughts of summer vacation. It conjures up visions of relaxation, sports, and sunny days spent on a sandy beach or a mountain trail.
For individuals and families with allergies and asthma though, it means extra thought and preparation before letting the “good times roll”
As we head full tilt into summer here are some common sense but commonly missed suggestions for a healthy vacation.
Medications – Make a detailed list of any medications showing prescription refill numbers, prescribing doctor, phone number, and dosage. Make sure you pack your medications in a carry-on bag just in case the airline happens to misplace your checked bags. One would think that could not happen with what they charge for checking a bag these days but it does.
Also, make sure to pack an extra Epipen in case someone has an allergic reaction to an insect sting or something they ate. Another good thing to pack is topical hydrocortisone cream.
Essential Gear – If someone has asthma and is using a peak flow meter be sure to bring it and their chart to record results. I don’t need to tell you not to forget the nebulizer but if you are traveling overseas don’t forget the electrical converter.
We have heard from many customers over the years they could not use their nebulizer because of power problems. For people who are camping, you can either use a power converter that hooks into your car or buy a portable one that runs on batteries.
To protect yourself from dust mites it may be wise to pack your own allergy-proof pillow and mattress covers. Many of our customers use the king-size fitted mattress covers and king-size pillow encasing the when I travel. They are easy to use and the king-size covers fit any bed.
Insurance – Don’t forget to check your insurance policy to make sure you’re covered in the area that you’re traveling. Way too many people get a big surprise if they run into a problem and need to go to a clinic or emergency room.
Sensible Behavior – During the hot summer months, people with allergies and asthma should drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Try to avoid exposure to cigarette smoke whenever possible. Make sure you request a hotel room that is non-smoking and mold-free.
If you have food allergies call ahead and order a special meal on the airplane or better yet pack your own snacks. When eating out make sure you let your server know you have allergies.
Just because you have allergies does not mean you cannot have a great summer vacation. You just need to do a bit more planning.
Have a great Summer!