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It's always important to take care of your health, whether you're at home or on the road, but there are some additional concerns that are important to keep in mind when you're traveling.
It's easier to get sick when you're in a new place because your body hasn't had a chance to adjust to the food, water, and air in a new environment. Traveling can bring you in contact with things that your body isn't used to. Continue reading for tips on keeping your travel experience as healthy as possible.
Don't Take a Vacation From Health:
The stress and excitement of travel can make you more likely to get sick, but if you follow a few simple tips, you're more likely to stay healthy throughout your trip--and your trip will definitely be more enjoyable. The good news is that as a teen, your immune system is as strong as an adult's, but lack of sleep and a poor diet can make it easier for you to become sick.
So what foods are safe to eat? Any foods that have been boiled are generally safe, as well as fruits and vegetables that have to be peeled before eating. Avoid eating uncooked or undercooked meat or meat that is not cooked just prior to serving. Stay away from foods that require a lot of handling before serving.
One of your favorite foods at home is on the safe list on the road--pizza! Pizza dough, sauce, and cheese are foods that are less likely to spoil than others, and the high heat of a pizza oven tends to kill any harmful bacteria in the food.
You Can Take It With You
When you're packing, you'll want to include any medications and other medical supplies you use on a daily basis because they may be hard to find in another country if you run out. Even if you can find them, there's a good chance the formulations will be stronger or weaker than the ones you're used to. These may include any prescriptions you already take, such as inhalers, allergy medication, and insulin, as well as contact lens cleaners and vitamins.
Packing an over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen and diarrhea medication is also a good idea. It's a good idea to pack some over-the-counter allergy medication even if you don't take it at home. People sometimes unexpectedly develop allergic reactions to the pollens and other allergens found in a new environment. Those with asthma or other allergies can unexpectedly react to these new substances.
Write It All Down
Even if you watch what you eat and drink and get enough rest while you're traveling, you may still get sick.
Before you leave your home sweet home, create a medical history form that includes the following information:
* your name, address, and home phone number as well as a parent's daytime phone number
* your blood type
* your doctor's name, address, and office and emergency phone numbers
* the name, address, and phone number of your health insurance carrier, including your policy number
* a list of any ongoing health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, or AIDS
* a list of current medications you are taking and pharmacy name and phone number
* a list of allergies to medications, food, insects, and animals
* a prescription for glasses or contact lenses
* the name, address, and phone number of a relative
It also helps if you have some basic emergency medical knowledge, not only for yourself but for helping others you may be traveling with. A great way to prepare for your trip is to take a first-aid or basic life support course before you go; if you're traveling with a group, you should know where the first-aid kit is and what's in it.
It's easy to let your guard down when you travel. After all, you're more relaxed and there are so many new sights to focus on. In addition to paying attention to your personal safety (avoiding secluded places and not walking alone after dark), you'll need to reset your thinking when it comes to traffic safety, too.
If you practice these healthy hints you can focus on the scenery--not medical emergencies--and return home with nothing more troubling than some tacky souvenirs!
Provided by TeensHealth, www.kidshealth.org
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