More summer safety and wellness tips

summer

“Summertime and the living is still easy…” And we sure would like to keep it that way, right? Here are a few more tips for a great summer.

If you are traveling out of the country and want to sightsee instead of spending your time sick with Montezuma’s Revenge, aka the “toilet trots,” watch what you are eating and drinking. Vomiting and diarrhea aren’t conducive to long strolls at the Parthenon or Machu Picchu.

Traveling abroad carries some risk. Poor and inconsistent standards in food preparation and sanitation can make water and foods unsafe to eat and drink. Remember this simple rhyme from the World Health Organization, “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.”

To be safe when it comes to drinking water, boil it first or disinfect it with chlorine or iodine. If you want milk and it’s unpasteurized, boil it before you drink it. Make sure the bottled water is unopened before partaking.

Stay away from raw foods bought from street vendors unless it is fruit or veggies. Be sure to wash your produce thoroughly and peel it before enjoying.

At a restaurant choose meals that are piping hot when the food is placed in front of you. Watch street vendors cook anything you plan to buy. In both cases, if you didn’t see it being prepared, don’t get it.

Stay away from ice cream and other milk products as they are commonly contaminated. These items include raw or undercooked eggs that are used in such items as mayo, Hollandaise sauce, or mousse.

A hidden culprit – ice cubes. Think about it – ice cubes made out of water you didn’t boil will possibly be from unclean water sources.

In addition to being wary of some foods, some folks suffer from motion sickness. Did you know that more than 50% of Americans experience nausea and dizziness at some point from motion sickness? Here are some causes: hitting air pockets while on a plane (Does anyone really enjoy air turbulence at 30,000 feet?); windy roads when in the car, especially if you are a passenger; or waves when you are out on the water. Try these simple things to keep the nausea and dizziness away.

Motion sickness happens when your brain gets conflicting info about motion and your body’s position at the time. Your balance control mechanisms are located in the inner ear. If they are not in sync the motion sickness symptoms will set in. Here’s what to do:
In the car, drive or sit in the front seat with your eyes fixed on a distant point. (And hope your driver isn’t like my dad who would drive around twisty mountain roads with his eyes fixed on a distant point! Scary!)

In a plane, sit over the wing in the window seat. (Let’s hope there aren’t a bunch of other people who suffer from motion sickness, or there might be a fight over who gets the coveted spots, and there are only two!

On a boat, go to the top deck and gaze out at the horizon when seasickness hits.

And last but not least, watch out for the power of suggestion. Stay away from smoke and others who are experiencing motion sickness because seeing a green face may just cause a sympathetic response. Avoid odors, spices, or foods that aren’t agreeable.

In the event that you are still worried about being sick, there are OTC meds that can help, ie. Dramamine or meclizine. Try peppermint or ginger to settle your stomach. Ginger ale can be useful. Sometimes acupressure bracelets can help. Or just breathe in some cool fresh air.

Enjoy your vacation!

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