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10 Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy This Summer 2024

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Summer is the most common time people choose to plan vacations, especially with kids being out of school and, for some, even trying to escape the extreme heat. What happens when the summertime fun is derailed because of illness or injury? In an effort to keep you and your family healthy and well, we're sharing some tips to help you avoid injury and illness often associated with summer travel. Plus, medications that may come in handy just in case.

Air travel

If you choose to travel by plane, it is important to remember that the terminal and airplane environment can impact your health.

  • Dehydration: The airplane cabin is a low-humidity environment that could cause you to become dehydrated. It is important to drink eight ounces of water every hour that you are in the airplane. Purchase a large bottle of water in the terminal prior to boarding, or you can even bring an empty reusable water bottle with you to refill once you are past security.
  • Illness: Germs are everywhere! The most common way of contracting cold and flu viruses is through physical contact. Be sure to bring a travel size hand sanitizer and use it after contact with all surfaces and people, especially before eating.
  • Ear popping: The most frequent issue with flying is when your ears pop due to pressure changes during takeoff and landing. The best way to control this issue is to bring a pack of gum with you (bonus if it's sugar-free) and chew a piece at the beginning and end of your flight.
  • Blood clots: Air travel longer than four hours can put many people at risk for the development of blood clots in the legs, due to not moving their legs much and cramped seating. A helpful way to prevent clotting is by walking around the plane and by not crossing your legs while seated. Compression socks and stockings can also be worn to increase blood flow in the legs. Compression socks can be found online and in pharmacy retail stores, including the over-the-counter department of Ochsner Pharmacy.
    • Risk factors that may contribute to blood clots:
      • Cancer
      • Family history of blood clots or clotting disorders
      • Obesity
      • Using oral contraceptives
      • Pregnancy
      • Recent surgery
      • Older age

Medication routine

Time changes associated with long distance travel can alter your normal medication routine. It is important to account for these time changes in order to stay on schedule with your medications.

  • Keep a pill box containing all your medications for the duration of your travel. Be sure to bring along the medication bottles, as well, in case your travel plans are delayed or extended, and you need to refill a prescription.
  • Set alarms on your phone or watch to remind you to take your medications at the appropriate time of day. The time that you take your medications may need to be altered due to changes in time zones.


Neglecting to drink water can have serious consequences, especially in the hot summer months. Dehydration can result in heat exhaustion that can lead to heat stroke. Some of the more serious symptoms of heat stroke include dizziness, lightheadedness, high fever, lack of sweating, a flushed or red appearance to the skin, nausea, vomiting and seizures. If you suspect that you are dehydrated and have any of these signs, get out of the heat immediately and seek help. Preventing dehydration is easier than trying to treat it. Tips to avoid dehydration include:

  • Drink water before you become thirsty! Aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
  • If you’re exercising in extreme heat or for over 60 minutes, supplement water with sports drinks that contain electrolytes.
  • Other healthy liquids, such as milk, soy milk, tea, 100% fruit juices and even foods with high water content like pineapple, watermelon, other fruits, cucumbers and even yogurt can help to supplement your daily water intake.
  • Always carry around a surplus of water when traveling in the summer.

Useful over-the-counter medications to pack

As you travel to different environments, you may encounter a variety of situations in which you may need an over-the-counter product that is not accessible at your travel destination. Bringing along these medications and healthcare products can help you deal with unexpected situations during your vacation.



Motion sickness

Dramamine, Bonine

Water-clogged ears

Mack’s ear plugs (preventative), Swim-EAR Drops (treatment)

Seasonal allergies

Zyrtec, Allegra, Claritin, Flonase, Nasonex

Dry eyes

Clear Eyes, Systane

Cuts, scrapes, burns

Neosporin, Polysporin, First Aid Kit

Poison ivy

Topical Benadryl, calamine lotion

Severe allergic reaction

Epipen (prescription only)

Diarrhea, upset Stomach

Immodium, Pepto-Bismol

Headache, minor Aches and Pains

Tylenol, Aleve, Aspirin

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