By Cynthia Ramnarace
You've packed the bags. You've dog-eared and highlighted the travel guides. With everyone excited for the family vacation, someone getting sick is the last thing you want. Here's how to keep the family healthy while you're away -- plus what to do if sickness does strike.
Stay Healthy (No Matter Where You Are)
1. Keep sipping.
2. Drink often, but drink wisely.
3. Avoid motion sickness.
Beat These Common Vacation Ailments
When flying, earaches and "popping" in the ears are common, especially for little ones. Give kids something to suck on, like a lollipop or a bottle or a pacifier. It's unlikely that an ear infection would be reason enough to cancel a trip, but if you think your child has one, call your pediatrician before boarding the plane. Ear infections can lead to fever, diarrhea and vomiting. Still, "there is nothing better for an ear infection than getting out of a cold environment and to a warmer climate," says Pollack.
Apply SPF 30 sunblock whenever you're outdoors, says Dr. Ramzi Saad, a dermatologist at South Shore Skin Center in Plymouth, Mass. But if you or your kids do burn, Saad recommends cool compresses to soothe the skin, and moisturizer to keep it from cracking and peeling.
3. Swimmer's ear
Water stuck in the ear canal after a day at the pool is painful but easy to treat, says Pollack. Try making a mixture of half vinegar and half water. "A couple of drops in each ear canal help to dry it out faster," says Pollack.
Remember: If there's an emergency, go to the nearest hospital. For more minor issues, you can call your family doctor: He might be able to diagnose the issue over the phone and call in a prescription to an area pharmacy. And if you're traveling internationally, plan ahead and get travel medical insurance, which can help put you in touch with a local English-speaking doctor and cover the cost of care.
Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.
Cynthia Ramnarace is a New York City-based health writer whose work appears regularly in American Baby, AARP Bulletin and iVillage.com.
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