You’ve planned, packed and organized your vacation to maximize your family’s fun experience. What to do when life doesn’t go as planned and a family member gets sick on vacation? Managing ailments while traveling can be frustrating. Here are some tips to help navigate this experience. Over-the-counter medications can help the majority of minor ailments.

It’s not uncommon to experience sinus congestion or a runny nose with thin and clear discharge while traveling. This occurs from exposure to new environmental allergens at the travel destination. Using non-drowsy allergy meds such as loratadine (also known as Claritin) or Cetirizine (also known as Zyrtec) to manage a runny nose caused by environmental allergies is helpful. It may also be beneficial to use a steroidal nasal spray, such as fluticasone propionate (also known as Flonase), to manage sinus congestion and/or a runny nose. It’s important to manage congestion promptly due to it increasing the susceptibility to developing a sinus infection. Nasal congestion can also create pressure in the ears, which could also cause pain when flying home.

Jessica Huckaby, ARNP, Halifax Health – Express Care

Allergic rhinitis (runny nose) presents without a fever or body aches; if these symptoms occur, then an upper respiratory virus (such as influenza or Covid) may be the culprit. Using ibuprofen and acetaminophen to manage the fevers and body aches is often necessary. If the fever is persistent despite one of the medications, it is extremely beneficial to alternate both medications to reduce the fever. Upper respiratory viruses are addressed by managing the symptoms and possibly starting an antiviral medication. Antiviral medications are prescription based. Walk-in urgent care clinics, such as Halifax Health – Express Care, are available seven days a week to test for viruses and prescribe antiviral medication if clinically indicated.

Additional tips to ensure your family’s health while traveling is using sunscreen during outdoor activities, avoiding excessive amounts of direct sunlight and staying on top of hydration. If you have any routine daily prescriptions, ensure you bring enough to last the duration of the vacation.

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