Many families will take advantage of the long winter holiday break and go on vacation. Some vacations will include beachfront activities and others will include family visits. Either way, you want to ensure that you are prepared medically for a safe vacation. There tends to be an increase in medical care needs over the holiday season. These are some of the most common medical needs that occur during this long break.
Beach related injuries
A beach injury is usually something that occurs when participating in beach activities. This could be a bug sting, a sprained ankle, or a broken arm. Either way, you are more likely to experience a beach injury during the winter months, usually because you are out of shape. You are not running and playing outdoors as often as you are during the summer months, and this can result in needing medical care for a beach injury. Fortunately, most cities, especially tourist cities have many walk in treatment centers. Roughly 60% of all urgent care centers have a wait time of fewer than 15 minutes to see a physician or mid level provider, and 65% have a physician on site at all times. You can be in and out in no time with your beach injury on its way to recovery.
Seasonal allergies can also be common during the winter season. You are traveling either to a different climate or to a household that contains different bacteria and germs than you are used to. If you are traveling to a new destination this holiday season, make sure you are prepared with any over the counter allergy medication. If you find that your usual allergy medication is not correcting the problem, consider visiting a local urgent care center. Allergies can also be caused by using new products.
Winter cold and flu symptoms
Of course, you also have the usual winter cold and flu symptoms. While most health professionals recommend that you stay home when experiencing flu symptoms, this is not always an option. Depending on your symptoms and whether or not the illness is bacterial or viral, you can take medications to speed up the illness. Bacterial infection care can take place in an urgent care center. Even if you have symptoms of a virus, it can be helpful to receive a medical consultation to rule out any other medical problem first.
Sports related injuries
Traveling with families means children are getting together and playing together. An increase in sports and outdoor games also leads to more sports related injuries. Make sure you are prepared for a sports injury emergency. It can also be useful to know when to go to the local emergency room and when urgent care is sufficient. Emergency room visits now number approximately 110 million annually. Many of these emergency room visits, however, could have been handled by the local urgent care center. If you suffer a sports related injury, head to your local urgent care location. That is, unless the injury involves the spine or neck.
Over the next month, many families will be traveling around the country. Some will plan family vacations at the beach, while others will travel to be surrounded by family for the holidays. Wherever you choose to go, make sure you have an emergency medical plan in place. There is an increase in beach injuries, sports related injuries, cold and flu symptoms, and allergy symptoms during these few months. Get to know where your local urgent care center is and what types of conditions can be seen there versus the local emergency department.