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Summer Travel. By Our “Soon To Hit The Road” Student Pharmacist, Nick Trego.

Summer time has arrived and the kids are out of school, which means it is time for the annual summer vacation! Here at Plain City Druggist, we want to make sure you have a blast on your family vacation, so we have some easy tips and advice for making sure that the vacation goes as smoothly as possible. We want to make sure that this family vacation is one you will never forget for all of the right reasons.

Whether you are headed to the beach or a foreign country far, far away, there are many helpful things we can suggest to make preparing for your trip a breeze. Sometimes, the excitement of packing for and looking forward to the vacation can interfere with making sure that you have packed all the essential goods to prevent disaster after you leave home. On the other hand, trying to pack for the entire family and remember to complete all necessary tasks before leaving is not easy. A checklist, especially one for your healthcare, is always helpful to make sure you don’t forget anything.

CDC checklist: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/pack-smart#travelhealthkit

If staying inside the continental United States, whether driving or flying to your ultimate destination, there are a few things to look into. First, knowing the climate of the destination will be very helpful when deciding what exactly to pack. Now, this may seem like common sense, but temperature and weather can affect air quality, allergens in the air, and ultimately the health of many members of your family. Some destinations will be very hot and have low air quality–this could potentially cause problems for people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). The hot, low quality air will contain less oxygen than normal and could cause shortness of breath, asthma attacks, or other exacerbations of these conditions. Visiting your local pharmacy for an inhaler and other asthma and COPD medication refills is a must if visiting one of these destinations.

Air allergen presence is another factor to consider when leaving for vacation. The local weather reports of the area which you are visiting will most likely contain any allergy alerts. Since this destination may have different plant and animal species than your family is used to, an allergy exacerbation is possible. In this case, it does not hurt to bring along a common allergy medication such as Claritin or Allegra to prevent allergies from interfering with your vacation.

Common over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, or Aleve are always a good idea to tote along on a vacation, as well. These can quickly help take care of minor aches, pains, injuries, swelling, headaches, and fevers.

Sometimes motion sickness can interfere with travel and, if you are prepared with medication, you can quickly fix this problem without a headache.

Link: Common Motion Sickness Medications with doses and reviews (http://www.drugs.com/condition/motion-sickness.html)

Uncomfortably high temperatures can make motion sickness worse, so cooling a nauseous family member down is always a good idea. Packing, dressing, and hydrating appropriately for higher than normal temperatures, while on vacation, is a wonderful preventive measure that will keep your family healthy during summer vacations.

Other products such as antiseptics (alcohol swabs), antibiotic ointment (Neosporin), bandages, sunscreen, antidiarrheal, and antacid medications are useful to prevent unwanted problems or delays in vacations.

Diabetics and people with blood clotting disorders need to take into account that they may be seated for long periods of time during travel, which increases their likelihood of developing a blood clot. Compression stockings and frequent breaks in travel (if driving) are a few good ways to lower the risk of clot formation. Walking around on an aircraft can help to improve circulation, but only do so if allowed by the flight crew and if the patient is very careful due to the potential of a fall during bouts of turbulence. Patients may want to speak with their doctor before traveling to receive other prescription medications that will reduce the likelihood of clot formation.

For those really lucky people traveling out of the country, there are many more aspects to consider when leaving for vacation. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has developed a website that tells you what precautions you need to take based on the country you enter into their database.

CDC: Out of US Travel Search: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

Extra precautions for traveling out of the country may include pre, during, and post-vacation treatment with preventative medications, special vaccinations, and other precautionary medications or devices that might be helpful in a specific country.

We here at Plain City Druggist hope you and your family enjoy summer vacation and that the memories last a lifetime. By following the simple precautions listed in this article, you may save yourself a headache or two and insure the health of your family during future trips.

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