Family on spring break at the beach

Spring Break Health Tips

Make this year's spring break one to remember by having fun and staying healthy.

Be prepared.
Before traveling, make sure that you and your loved ones have the necessary vaccinations. If you are taking medications, make sure to pack enough for your entire trip. And, in case you fall ill on vacation, know how to contact your doctor.

If you're a Community Health Network patient, MyChart is a great resource.

"One of the advantages of MyChart is that your doctor is always available," said Dr. Patrick McGill, family medicine physician at Community Physician Network. "If you forget your medication, you can reach out to your provider to find out how to obtain refills or an emergency supply. Also, if you develop a cold or other illness, advice can be given on how to seek care at your travel destination or an appointment can be scheduled for when you return."

Practice good hygiene.
The best way to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands frequently, especially when traveling. If soap and water is not available, opt for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Protect your skin.
After a blistery winter, it can be tempting to bask in the sun all day. While a little Vitamin D is good for your health, long-term exposure to the sun can cause skin damage and/or skin cancer. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen (it protects against UVA and UVB rays) rated SPF 30 or higher and reapply every two hours, especially if you're swimming.

Don't forget to protect the top of your head with a hat, the top of your feet with shoes and your eyes with sunglasses.

Use the buddy system.
Remember that no one should swim alone, especially children. Pools and beaches may not always have a lifeguard, so stay within the designated swimming area and supervise young children when they're near or in water.

Limit alcohol.
Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol and lead to dehydration. Limit your consumption of alcohol, avoid sharing beverages and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Eat healthy.
It can be tempting to indulge in fast food and sweet treats when on vacation. Instead, snack on fruits, veggies and whole grains that will give you the energy to enjoy your vacation activities.

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