Four Easy Steps to Safe Holiday Travel

December 1, 2015

Holiday travel season is in full gear and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is offering tips to help Georgians stay healthy and safe while on the road.

Between cooler temperatures, extended times on highways and flu season, there’s a lot to remember when trying to keep your family, friends and loved ones healthy, safe and free from illnesses while away from home.

With a little planning and organization, you can enjoy an exciting holiday season without leaving your healthy habits behind.

Follow these four easy tips to help ease the stress of traveling during the holidays and ensure you and your loved ones stay healthy:

  • Buckle up. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. When on the road, remember the leading car safety tip: always wear a seatbelt. Also, if you’re traveling with children, ensure their car seat is properly installed. Drivers can view the Safe Kids Worldwide’s Car Set Checkup list for tips to installing a car seat or visit a child safety seat fitting location in Georgia for a free car seat inspection and consultation.
  • Pack your meds. Make sure that you have the necessary medication needed if you plan to be on the road and out of your normal routine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that people with diabetes carry twice the amount of supplies they expect to need to accommodate unexpected travel delays. It is also best to work with your doctor to plan the timing of medication, food and exercise as changes in your routine and time zone can affect your body. For other medical necessities, consider packing a travel health kit. This could include prescription medication along with over-the-counter medicine and first aid supplies.
  • Get your flu shot. It’s best to get your flu vaccine before you travel. The flu vaccine remains the single most effective way to prevent influenza and stay well during this year’s annual flu season. Having the flu shot, along with washing your hands often, will help prevent becoming sick and ruining your holiday vacation. Visit your doctor or local health department to receive your flu shot and learn about other strategies that will help you stay well while traveling.  
  • Commit to distraction-free driving. While on the road, make sure you are free of distractions. Don’t text and drive, never drink and drive and avoid driving drowsy. It’s best to feel rested before traveling. To avoid drinking and driving, select a designated driver before attending a holiday function. No matter the holiday or celebration, your safety, and the safety of those you share the road with, is always the most important priority.  

DPH wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season. For more information on how to stay healthy while traveling with your family and children, visit www.cdc.gov/family/holiday.

To get your flu shot and ensure you’re well-prepared for holiday travels, visit DPH’s health department directory online to connect to a health professional near you.  

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