Our least favorite holiday tradition? Ringing in the most wonderful time of the year alongside the sickest time of the year.
By the time December rolls around, most of us are in the thick of cold and flu season. To make matters worse, cold temperatures lead to lingering coughs and more time spent inside – just in time for people to gather together for holiday events.
If you’re planning on traveling this month, know that airports and travel centers are some of the riskiest places for catching illnesses. The CDC is already tracking viruses over the holiday season, and culprits like RSV and COVID-19 are rearing their heads.
We say this not to scare you, but to encourage you to travel smartly. Now’s the time to gather your holiday travel essentials and protect your family from seasonal illness.
At Klingensmith’s Drug Stores, we do everything in our power to help Pennsylvania residents prepare and stay healthy. Contact us to schedule a vaccine appointment or to purchase any of the essentials listed in this blog post.
One of the best ways to bolster your immune system and plan ahead for the season is to get vaccinated. There are a handful of recommended shots for this time of year, including…
The flu vaccine is the top weapon in our arsenal in the fight against influenza. As a result, it is recommended to almost all people over the age of 6 months by most healthcare professionals.
Administered annually, the influenza vaccine stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies, providing protection against specific strains that may be present that year. When you decide to get your shot, you don’t just minimize your risk of contracting the flu. You also help protect your surrounding community and vulnerable populations.
Even if you do contract influenza after receiving the vaccine, the antibodies your bodiy has produced may help mitigate the severity of your flu symptoms and decrease the risk of complications or hospitalization.
The CDC has recommended that everyone aged five years and older receive the latest COVID vaccination to combat the ongoing pandemic. This vaccine is crucial in the prevention of COVID-19’s spread, especially as we enter the busy holiday season.
By stimulating the immune system to recognize and fight the COVID-19 virus, the vaccine provides a robust defense, helping to curb transmission rates, reduce severe symptoms, and minimize the need for hospitalizations.
Deciding to get your updated vaccine contributes to community-wide protection and supports the collective effort to overcome the COVID-19 virus.
To learn more about the different types of COVID vaccines, speak with a pharmacist.
RSV Vaccines for Babies and Seniors
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Although the average person will recover in a week or two, RSV can be very serious when contracted by infants or older adults (60+). These populations are more likely to develop severe symptoms and require hospitalization.
Fortunately, vaccines are available to protect older adults and young children, as well as pregnant women. Talk to your Klingensmith’s pharmacist to learn if you or your loved one are eligible for a RSV vaccine.
To receive any of the shots listed above, simply stop-by your local Klingensmith’s Drug Stores to arrange a vaccination. We’ll be happy to get you scheduled before your holiday travels.
Please note that almost all vaccines take a week or two to provide peak immunity, so the sooner you get vaccinated, the safer you’ll be on your trip.
2) Basic First-Aid Materials
In the stress of preparing for your holiday vacation, don’t forget to update or replenish your first aid kit. You never know when an accident will happen, and it always pays to be prepared – especially when you’re traveling.
While packing your first aid kit, make sure you’ve included…
- Triple antibiotic ointment
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Disposable ice packs
- Sterile gauze pads
- Adhesive tape
- Disposable gloves
Don’t just assume that your basic first aid kit already has contains everything you need. Double-check its contents, then head to Klingensmith’s to purchase anything that’s missing.
Also, remember to keep your kit in an easily accessible piece of luggage. YOu never know when you’re going to need it.
3) Allergy Supplies
You might not think of allergy symptoms as a common issue during the winter months. Although the chances of seasonal allergies are low during this season, they’re not gone.
Furthermore, you may find that you’re sensitive to certain triggers wherever you’re traveling for the holidays.
For example, the many people have reactions to Christmas trees and can experience seasonal allergy symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, a runny or stuffy nose, and watery eyes. You could also be allergic to something like your friend’s resident puppy or a perfume your grandmother wears.
If you know that you or someone in your family tends to experience winter allergies, make sure you’ve packed the right supplies. Even better: ensure you start the allergy medication before your travels to fortify your body.
Some of the most common kinds of allergy medicines include…
- Antihistamines (like Benadryl)
- Nasal steroids
- Decongestants (like Sudafed)
- Eye drops
Not sure what kind of winter allergy medicine to get? Speak with a pharmacist. They’ll point you in the right direction depending on your typical symptoms, usual triggers, and travel destination.
4) Prescription Refills
When packing your luggage, one of your number one priorities should be ensuring you have enough of your prescription medications to get you through your travels.
This is especially important if you’re planning to travel out of the country where essential medications might not be as readily available. Abroad destinations sometimes have different regulations for prescription medications, so prepare accordingly.
Our pharmacists like to recommend using a pillbox and medication reminders while traveling. It’s easy to get off schedule, especially in a different time zone and destination, so you may need a little help staying on track.
Another note: always keep your prescription medications in your hand luggage. You don’t want to risk losing them or being separated from your meds when you need them.
5) Asthma and COPD
Have you been diagnosed with asthma or COPD? Both of these conditions can be exacerbated by cold, dry air, which can make coughing and wheezing worse.
If you’re traveling for the holidays, make sure to pack your rescue inhaler and/or nebulizer solutions in your carry on. This will give you some extra security in the event of an attack and help you stay on top of your symptoms.
It’s especially important to pack the right asthma or COPD supplies if you’ll be traveling to a location that’s quite a bit hotter or colder than you’re used to. These temperature changes can make your symptoms worsen quickly.
6) Diabetic Supplies
If you have diabetes, you know there are a great number of essentials that go into regular diabetic care. From your insulin to your glucose tablets and snacks, there’s a lot you have to think about – especially when straying off your normal diet and routine.
Our pharmacists always recommend that people with diabetes travel with their blood glucose testing supplies in their hand luggage. If you’re traveling by plane, make sure to pack your supplies in your carry-on so you’re less likely to be separated from them during the flight.
In need of an updated glucose monitor for your trip? Visit Klingensmith’s for personalized recommendations and the latest diabetic accessories and gadgets.
Get Help Staying Healthy During the Holidays
Whether you’re visiting family or taking a much-needed vacation, holiday travel can be stressful. Now’s the time to be proactive about protecting your health.
Before you board your next plane or head on that beach trip, drop by your local Klingensmith’s Drug Stores. We’ll help you save money and shop for all of the right health travel essentials on your list.
Need to fill a prescription ASAP? Talk to our pharmacists today. We’re happy to help you get through this holiday season and beyond.
In the meantime, have fun on your holiday travels, and stay healthy friends!