Summer Travel: How to Stay Safe and Healthy

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Travel Health and Safety


Traveling has been a beloved summer pastime for decades, but it can be difficult to know how to prepare both you and your family for a safe and healthy vacation. June is National Safety Month, so whether you have plans to travel within the country or abroad this summer, here are a few tips on how to ensure your trip is fun, safe and healthy.

Five Tips for Domestic Travel

  1. Bring your health insurance information, as well as your prescription medications. Back-up prescriptions are recommended for people who have chronic health conditions, like diabetes or cancer.
  2. Pack a “travel first aid kit.” Depending on where you are going and what you plan to do once you arrive, this could include a variety of over-the-counter medicines such as antihistamines, aloe vera, antidiarrheal medication, pain relievers, antacids and antibacterial ointment.
  3. Use hand sanitizers and antibacterial wipes to avoid unnecessary contact with germs. Plane trays and items within your hotel room, like remote controls and menus, are all common places for germs to collect.
  4. Practice good general health habits, such as taking your vitamins, staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen and bug repellant daily, and getting enough rest. Many times the best defense to illness is a strong offense.
  5. Don’t forget that safety plays a major role in your health, too. Heed local safety warnings and pay attention to any updates. For example, if you’re going to the beach, take the time to check the flag color before going into the water. If you’re going on a biking adventure, take your helmet and other safety gear.

Four Tips for International Travel

The tips for domestic travel still apply, but here are some additional things to consider:

  1. Learn about the country you’re visiting, including their local laws and customs. It’s also prudent to visit the U.S. Department of State website. There, you can learn whether there are any safety warnings that you should be aware of in that area.
  2. Visit your doctor at least four to six weeks before you leave. If you’re traveling somewhere that has unique health concerns, like malaria, they can advise you on the shots and medications you will need before you go. Otherwise, they can still determine if you are healthy enough for travel and make sure you have enough prescription medication before you leave.
  3. Write down the number and address of the nearest American Embassy. In the event of a medical emergency, the Embassy staff can help guide you to care and make contact with friends and family back home.
  4. When traveling abroad, especially to developing countries, be mindful of the food and drink you consume. Unclean food and water can put you – and your vacation – at risk. Learn about what’s safer to eat and drink during your travels on the CDC’s website.

Regardless of where the summer takes you, if you don’t feel well upon your return, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately and let them know about your recent trip. Your doctor will be able to treat you and help make sure that others don’t get sick.

To schedule a pre-trip appointment with a physician today, visit your MyChart account or find a new doctor on ololphysiciangroup.com.


About Dr. T’Lane Folse

Dr. Folse is a native of Vacherie, LA. She attended Louisiana State University and received an undergraduate degree from the School of Allied Health in New Orleans, LA. She received her medical degree from Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans, LA followed by a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics internship and residency at Louisiana State University Medical Center as well.

Dr. Folse is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She has been a clinical instructor for the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Baton Rouge, LA and OLOL Pediatric Residency Program. She is a member of multiple professional organizations and has served on multiple hospital committees. Dr. Folse practices at Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Baker and Central. Click here to schedule an appointment with her, or call (225) 774-7320.

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