Health and Beauty
Health Hacks for the Holidays
Yippee, it’s almost time to forget about work, get out of the traffic and enjoy some serious downtime on holiday. But one of your family’s most precious assets is their health so that’s one thing you need to keep on top of, even if you’re out of your usual routine.
With that in mind, here are some health hacks for the holidays:
Get on top of your medical info
If you’re heading away from home this holiday, make sure that you have your medical aid cards packed. And if you’re going somewhere new, do some research into the nearest hospital or pharmacy from your accommodation so that you have a plan if someone falls ill. It’s even worth checking which doctors or specialists near you charge medical aid rates, and which hospitals nearby fall into your network (if you’re on a medical aid plan that offers unlimited hospital cover, but only at selected hospitals).
Pack a first aid box and prescribed medicine
If you’re heading somewhere off the beaten track, it’s best to be prepared. Even if you’re going to be in the car for long stretches, having easy access to some first aid items can make stressful situations a little less stressful. Items such as plasters, antiseptic cream, painkillers (or pain-relieving syrup for kids), insect repellent, sunburn ointment, a thermometer, tweezers and eyedrops have wide uses. It’s also obviously crucial to pack enough of any medication you or your family takes on a frequent basis whether this is an asthma pump, insulin or birth control pills, for example.
Take health precautions
Are you heading somewhere where malaria is prevalent? Or yellow fever? Do you have to start taking special medication or arrange vaccines before you leave? Many of these vaccines have to be performed weeks before you leave the country, so do your research and make sure you have set these up, and also that you retain all the necessary documentation after the fact. Many countries will not let you cross their borders unless you have evidence that you have been vaccinated against certain diseases.
Save up for medical emergencies
As it’s the end of the year, chances are that if you have a medical savings account, your MSA funds are now depleted. Holidays can be expensive in terms of buying gifts and entertaining family, but make sure you have some cash set aside for any medical emergencies or trips to the doctor, because you may have to fund these out of your own pocket. Health comes first and your children can easily do without that expensive toy, but they can’t suffer in pain if they fall ill with the flu, break a leg or need antibiotics.
Keep summer safe
Summer can be blissful but there are certain health risks that come along with it. Make sure you are aware of these, such as water safety and drowning, which is even more applicable if your child cannot swim yet. Other summer specific risks include sunburn and skin cancer, dehydration and heat stroke and food poisoning that is sometimes caused by eating food that is sitting unrefrigerated, allowing bacteria to spread.
Following these few simple health hacks will ensure that you get the most out of this special time with family and friends, no matter what comes your way.