HARTFORD HEALTHCARE-GO HEALTH URGENT CARE
With an expected rebound in travel this summer, families who are planning to go on vacation in the coming months should prepare to do so safely.
A recent American Automobile Association (AAA) poll of Connecticut residents said that while covid-19 remains a factor for some in planning travel this summer, 62% of respondents are considering or planning to take a trip this summer. Prior to the pandemic, more than 100 million Americans vacationed each year, with the majority of that being between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care wants to remind travelers of a few ways they can remain safe on their trips this summer.
Whether flying or driving, travelers should always remember to buckle up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates there are 27 million Americans who don’t wear a seat belt in a car, resulting in thousands of preventable deaths per year.
Further, with so much of traveling taking place outdoors and in the hot summer sun, it’s advisable for travelers to wear sunscreen to protect against skin cancer, the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the country each year.
“UV ray exposure accounts for 90% of skin cancer,” said Dr. Eric Walsh, Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care medical director. “Five sunburns in your lifetime can double one’s risk of being diagnosed with melanoma.”
Travelers should also pack plenty of water to beat dehydration. And while you’re outside, be mindful of insects and ticks and ways to protect against them. Some species can be dangerous and may transmit Zika, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and West Nile Virus.
Healthy foods can be important to enjoying a safe vacation, too.
“Families should pack healthy snacks, which can save money and stop you from making unhealthy choices, such as fast food,” Walsh said. “Foods that have high-water content, including melons, berries, cucumbers and lettuce, can also help prevent dehydration.”
Adults should also safely manage their alcohol intake as 70% of all water recreation deaths in teenagers and adults are alcohol related. And every 50 minutes, someone dies in an alcohol-related car crash.
With covid-19 still present, new precautions must be made to this year’s summer vacation plans. Travelers should make sure they bring several masks, pack hand sanitizer and practice social distancing in shared public spaces.
Finally, travelers should make sure they are fully prepared for any medical emergencies. Make sure you always travel with your health insurance card should you need to visit an urgent care center. You might also want to consider keeping a photograph of both sides of your insurance card on your cell phone in the event you get stuck without the tangible card. Travelers should also pack enough of their prescription medicine, as well as a first aid kit to treat any kind of minor injuries that may occur while traveling.
Those enjoying a staycation this summer can also look to Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care’s 18 centers located throughout the state should they need medical assistance. The centers are open with extended hours every day. To find the center closest to you, visit gohealthuc.com/ct.