|To Grandmother's House We Go: Planning Ahead For Healthier Travel
This is the time of year when we travel to see friends and family or they travel to see us. When someone has asthma, allergies, or sinus problems, traveling can be a difficult challenge, but there are ways to minimize the risk. So if you are going to grandmother's house or if you are grandmother and the family is coming together at your house, this newsletter will outline ways you can help keep everyone traveling with allergies healthier over the holidays.
Traveling With Dust Mite Allergies
~ Mite Proof Covers For Bedding ~
If your dust mite allergy has the potential to ruin your visit, take some bedding protection along with you. BedCare Travel Covers are designed like fitted sheets for ease of installing and removing. Although not all allergen is contained as it is in a zippered encasing, the travel covers do offer a high level of mite allergen protection. Don't forget the mite proof pillow encasings or mite proof pillows. If you are expecting company who have dust mite allergies, covering the mattress, box spring and pillows in the guest room would be very thoughtful. BedCare Basics, our most economical encasing fabric choice, is equally effective. If children are coming who might not have outgrown bed-wetting, BedCare Classic is an excellent choice since it has a water resistant polyurethane backing that is so thin and pliable that it is virtually undetectable.
~ Eliminating Dust Mite Allergen In Laundry ~
If you are planning a long visit and will be laundering bed linens and clothes while you are gone, taking along an 8-oz bottle of De-Mite can eliminate dust mite allergen in any temperature water and can help reduce your exposure.
~ Treating Carpet For Dust Mite Allergen ~
Another measure you can take is neutralizing dust mite and pet allergen in carpet, drapes, and upholstered furniture. The 3-oz. size of Anti-Allergen Solution can even be packed in carry-on luggage if you are traveling by air.
Traveling With Pet Allergies
~ Avoiding The Pet ~
If you are staying at a hotel, try to find one that does not accept pets or ask for a pet-free room. If you are staying with friends or family, ask if the pet can stay outdoors, in the garage or somewhere away from you during your visit. At least keep your bedroom door closed to keep the pet out.
~ Minimizing The Damage ~
You may be thinking that #1 is impossible because your friend or family member thinks more of the pet than you. So, to minimize pet dander while you are there, ask your host to bathe the pet in an allergen shampoo or take allergen wipes or moisturizer to rub down the pet yourself.
~ Treating The Carpet ~
Pet dander also lingers in carpet, drapes, and upholstery. Ask your host to treat the carpet before you arrive or ask permission to treat your bedroom when you get there with that 3-oz. (travel size) bottle of Anti-Allergen Solution.
~ Cleaning The Air ~
Taking along a small air cleaner to put in the hotel room or guest room can really help. Keep the unit running on high all day and all night with the door to your room closed. Place the unit near the head of your bed.
Traveling With Mold Allergies
~ Dealing With Visible Mold ~ If you think you may encounter mold in a bathroom or you know you will be staying in a basement, you could take along or send ahead a no-fragrance-added, low-chemical cleaning product.
~ Being Prepared For Humid Climates ~
Mold is not always visible, so you should take some precautions if you have this allergy and you are going to a humid climate. A natural mold fighter, grapefruit seed extract, can help reduce mold spores in the air. A HEPA air purifier will capture airborne spores. Depending on how you are traveling, you could take a small tabletop unit or a compact regular model. A personal ionizer to wear around your neck for your individual air space or a car ionizer can be helpful in removing mold spores, too. These ionizers have very low ozone emissions that are well within the safe range but asthmatics should consult their doctor before using them just to be safe.
Traveling With Pollen Allergies
~ Being Ready For Unfamiliar Pollen ~
It may not be pollen season where you live, but take a look at where you are going for current pollen counts.
~ Taking Along The Meds ~
Whether you expect to be bombarded with pollen or not, it is always a good idea to take along your medications - especially the prescription ones. And take a few days extra just in case. If you receive immunotherapy (allergy shots), check with your doctor. Having a shot right before you leave may be enough, but if you will need one while you are gone your doctor can help you set it up.
Traveling With Household Dust Allergy
~ Asking For Help ~
You may be visiting close friends and relatives that you can ask to vacuum and dust before you arrive. You might even be able to send them a package of your favorite dusting supplies. Or you could send a nice hostess gift - a HEPA vacuum cleaner.
~ Doing It Yourself ~
While it may be awkward, you may need to clean for yourself. At least do your bedroom. Again, you can take along some supplies or that HEPA vacuum as a gift.
Traveling With Sinus Distress
~ Preventing Dryness ~
Especially if you are traveling by air, you may experience dryness in your nasal and sinus passages. A saline spray can reduce your discomfort.
~ Getting Rid Of Debris ~
If you are prone to sinus infections, be sure to pack some form of sinus irrigation to wash away irritating particles.
Traveling With Asthma
~ Preventing An Asthma Attack ~
The best thing you can do is follow the suggestions above to avoid asthma triggers. Also, pack the peak flow meter and the asthma plan so you are on top of things. If you anticipate being outdoors in cold weather, pack a cold weather mask.
~ Planning Ahead In Case Of An Asthma Attack ~ Find out where the nearest and best medical facility is located. Before you leave home, ask your doctor to recommend an allergist or pulmonologist at your destination or use this physician directory. Keep the phone number handy.
~ Following Your Asthma Plan ~
Although you are relaxing and enjoying friends and family, you cannot relax your attention to asthma. Think ahead to pick the right compressor. One that plugs into an electrical outlet may fit your needs. Or you may need a model that has the ability to plug into the power outlet in the car or even run on batteries. If you are traveling abroad with a plug-into-the-wall unit, be sure you have the right adapter to fit foreign outlets.
Miscellaneous Travel Tips
~ Get out your manual and find out how to check the filter on your vehicle's air conditioning or heat.
~ Use a carpet treatment and/or vacuum the passenger compartment and trunk of your vehicle.
~ Consider a mask for outdoor activities or airplane travel.
~ Beware of Christmas trees and wood fires.
~ Keep a hand sanitizer handy for times when you can't get to soap and water.
~ Wipe surfaces with a broad spectrum disinfectant to kill lingering germs.
~ For natural relief of motion sickness, use The Original Sea-Band.
~ The trial pack of Vanicream sensitive skin products also makes a great travel pack.
~ The AAFA gives this helpful information for traveling abroad:
If your vacation takes you to a foreign land, you might consider contacting the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT). For a low-cost donation to this nonprofit organization, you can receive a directory of English-speaking physicians worldwide who have trained in either the U.S., Canada or the United Kingdom. It can also provide forms for your own clinical records, immunization information for specific countries and worldwide climate charts. For further details contact IAMAT at 417 Center Street, Lewiston, NY, 14092 or call them at (716) 754-4883.
Margie Bullock, Newsletter Editor
As always, allergen avoidance is the key to a healthier you. I hope the tips above help you plan ahead and enjoy holiday travel to the fullest.
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