United Arab Emirates, Dubai, 24th August 2017: It's that time of the year when festivity is in full flair and people in the UAE gear up to celebrate Eid Al-Adha. In the period before Eid Al Adha, many Muslims travel to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, where the final destination is the holy city of Mecca, home of the Kaaba – the most sacred site in Islam. It is also the perfect time when a lot of people plan the much-awaited long weekend to travel outside the UAE.
After you have decided on the travel destination and planned the travel itinerary, the next important step is to protect your family and yourself from contracting common illnesses that are usually associated at the time of travelling.
The most common travel illnesses especially in children include Diarrhoea, Malaria, and Influenza. “Whenever you travel abroad, ensure that you avoid tap water and always go for distilled water. Eat fresh fruits and avoid dairy products as not everyone's body responds well to the milk products in a new country. Exposure to contaminated food and water are the primary causes of being affected by Diarrhoea. Ensure that you carry mosquito net beds or mosquito repellent creams to safeguard yourself from potential mosquito-borne diseases. Influenza is transferred through airborne droplets among crowds in enclosed spaces therefore, be extra hygienic while you travel and wash your hands not just before every meal but also in regular intervals“, says Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Raslan Omar, Specialist - Internal Medicine at Burjeel Hospital, Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Omar also shares very practical health tips while travelling for the Hajj or for your vacation especially when travelling with the family:
- Immunization: Visit the child's pediatrician at least a month before you travel and check with the doctor on the necessary vaccines required for the travel. Do ensure that there is no allergy reaction to the vaccines. The common ones are Hepatitis, Polio and Chicken Pox.
- The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following Immunizations while travelling in places with huge crowds:
- Typhoid– A common foodborne illness.
- Polio–highly recommended
- Meningitis– Recommended and required for some visitors
- Hepatitis A– Another foodborne illness common to the region.
- Routine Vaccinations– These include the MMR and flu vaccines, which are very important to have.
- Others may be recommended based on your personal health history
- Medical Kit: Your travel bag should definitely include a medical kit. Being away from home and your usual routine could make you susceptible to catching an infection. Therefore, ensure that you carry the basic medicines with you.
- Choose your hotels carefully: Ensure that you do a thorough research before finalizing your hotel and look for a property that has clean surroundings.
- Keep it short: Don't overdo your days while on a holiday with kids. Keep it light. Don't plan to visit too many attractions or do too many activities in a day as that might be very tiring for the kids.
- Last Minute Travel: Even if it's a last minute travel plan, do visit the doctor or at the very least carry the basic medication with you.
- Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can happen quickly while you are travelling due to weather, hectic schedule, or even due to erratic eating routine. Therefore, stay well hydrated and try to eat all the meals on time. Avoid too much intake of coffee or tea and don't over indulge in spicy or oily/unhealthy foods.
- Adequate Sleep: Ensure your 8-10 hours of sleep so that you are fresh and active while you are travelling. This will help boost your immune system and ward off potential diseases.
- Be insured: Wherever you travel, it is wise to be insured. This assures that you are taken care of in a foreign land, especially in case of a medical emergency. By following these simple tips, you can ensure a healthy and a happy vacation with your loved ones.