Author: TravelSafe Clinic

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Convenient Pre-Travel Consultation

Ready, Set…Hold On!

Congratulations! You’ve booked your flight, chosen an aisle seat, found the perfect hotel, rented the car, and even created a “what to pack” list (at least in your head). Seems like you’re all ready to escape on your dream vacation! You’ve planned everything meticulously and thought of every detail and eventuality. But have you thought of contacting TravelSafe to find out about what appropriate vaccinations and prescriptions you may need? If not, you’re almost done…but not quite!

Plan for Protection

There’s one more thing to do that will ensure you’ll not only arrive safe and sound, but you’ll stay that way for the duration of your trip and after! We at TravelSafe strive to ensure that you’ll have the most worry-free vacation possible and, for us, this starts with protecting you from diseases, illnesses, and outbreaks that may be present in the region in the world that you are traveling to.

One to One Consultation

Making an appointment for a consultation with one of our experienced medical professionals is easy and convenient. Simply call or email! We offer comprehensive service with knowledgeable staff, highly specialized in travel health.

The Power of Now

Booking and receiving a consultation is easier and more pleasant than waiting in the security line at the airport–and far less attitude! Our pleasant and accommodating staff make sure that we address all your concerns and provide you with all the necessary information for optimal travel health. In short, we can take care of all your needs and also arrange your prescriptions within 24 hours! For those of you who are a little “last-minute” when it comes to travel preparations—we’ve got you covered.

Why Do I Need a Consultation?

With the multitude of tasks involved in the planning of a trip, it’s hard to keep track of what vaccines are required, and even harder to keep abreast of current information with regards to disease outbreaks. Diseases can spread quickly and unpredictably, and it is our job to keep up to date and current so that we can provide you with peace of mind. Knowing you are getting the right vaccine for the right region you are traveling to is imperative!

Further to this, our TravelSafe professionals are dedicated to preparing you for a safe and healthy trip and can address your travel needs all in one visit. We will consult with you about the details of your trip, review your health history, provide the appropriate vaccines and arrange your travel prescriptions. We have all travel vaccines in stock, including Yellow Fever.

Invest in your Trip!

Trips can be costly. Once you factor in the price of your flight, the hotel, car rental and (of course!) shopping, things can really add up! You work hard to be able to go on vacation, and the absolute worst thing that could happen is that you fall ill during your trip. All that hard earned money down the drain.

An Ounce of Prevention

The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really does ring true! It’s worth paying a small amount for your vaccines and prescriptions to ensure that you’ll enjoy your expensive trip to the fullest!

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Keeping Freud and Canines at Bay: The Importance of Prepping for School

Keeping Freud and Canines at Bay: The Importance of Prepping for School

Freud’s Underwear 

We’ve all had those college nightmares. You know the one where you realize you’re extremely late for that big test. Or the one where you can’t find the exam room, and then you realize you’re in your underwear to boot! It doesn’t take Freud to explain that these dreams are the result of a certain amount of fear and anxiety around starting a new semester of school.

 

It’s Okay to be Nervous

Give yourself the permission to feel nervous. It’s totally normal and expected. The reality is that it’s everyone’s first day at school and whether they show it or not, they are just as nervous as you are. In truth, being nervous just means that you care about what you’re doing and you’re taking your studies seriously.

 

Academic Goblins

There are, however, effective ways to reduce this stress. We don’t want you having any more nightmares before school, so we’ve provided some useful information below that will help vanquish those imaginary monsters and academic goblins that go bump in the night.


Make a Good Impression: Take an Orientation 

There is nothing more stressful than arriving late to your first class, and it doesn’t make a great first impression on your instructors either.

A great way to reduce stress before starting school is to take an orientation. Most schools offer one, and they’re an effective way of familiarizing yourself with the physical layout of the school before your first official day on campus. An orientation will also help you locate the on-campus services that can help you: the tutoring center, disability services, counseling services, and any other resources that will assist you when you need it.

 

Preparation Meets Opportunity

One of the best ways to keep the anxiety at bay is to be prepared! Before you start your courses, be sure to check out your courses syllabi and reading list. If the instructor has not listed this online, take the time to contact them and ask.

Contrary to public opinion, instructors are, on the whole, very nice, encouraging and appreciative of students who care about their studies and academic success. You’d be amazed how much information and advice your instructors will give you if you simply contact them and ask!

Once you know which books and readings are required, it’s best to get to the school bookstore early to avoid long lines and the possibility of the readings being sold out! Most school bookstores also sell used books, but they sell out quickly!

Knowing what each course entails, how many assignments and tests are given and the general workload can help you start to plan your semester even before you begin!

 

Keeping the Dogs Away with Time Management

You may find that in college or university things are fast-paced. With multiple courses, work, and extracurriculars, it’s easy to lose track of things and get behind. The best way to combat getting overwhelmed is by implementing good time management skills. This will make prioritizing and remembering things much simpler, and will make your academic life so much easier!

The most effective way to plan your time is to create a detailed daily schedule that blocks off time for your classes, homework, study and personal time. One of the best organizational hacks is to mark down in your calendar all your assignment due dates and test at the beginning of the semester.

If you plan out how much time you’ll need to devote to each assignment, you’ll never have to tell the instructor that the dog ate your homework!

Have a great semester and remember to avoid any class where they make you read Beowulf!

 

 

 

 

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The Road Less Travelled: Driving and Traffic Safety Tips for World Travellers

The Family Truckster and Other Dangers on the Road 

If you were alive in the 80’s, you’ll most likely remember lol’ing while watching Chevy Chase careen off dirt roads, or drift into oncoming freeway traffic in the iconic, yet extremely ugly, “Wagon Queen Family Truckster.”

Indeed, the National Lampoon, Vacation movies mythologized and hyperbolized the age-old family vacation experience. Of course, talking to most people, you’ll find they have their own “travel disaster stories,” some of which rival those of the sophomoric comedy franchise!

Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction.

While those events may make for great cocktail party stories, in the moment, they are anxiety-inducing and even terrifying. Perhaps, more to the point, many of these disasters could’ve been avoided if travelers took the time to take a few easy precautions. Here are some helpful travel hacks to consider before heading out on your next adventure!

 

Know the Traffic

A staunch New Yorker, Woody Allen famously criticized Los Angeles, lamenting, “its only cultural advantage is that you can make a right turn on a red light.” Whether that’s a fair assessment of LA is, perhaps, fodder for another blog, but what is a valid point is that traffic laws, patterns, and rules differ vastly depending on what state, country and continent you’re traveling in. Case in point, turning right on a red light is illegal in most countries in Europe!

 

Across the Pond (and Beyond)

England is an obvious example of a country with very different traffic than ours. Indeed, right-hand drive cars are tricky to get used to and downright dangerous if driven without prior practice. If you aren’t confident driving on the other side of the road (or car), it’s best to take the many other forms of transportation available in the UK. Between the subway, trains, buses, taxis, and Uber, there is no need to drive if you don’t want to. The best way to avoid a car accident is to avoid driving a car!

 

Look Both Ways…

While driving may be optional when visiting the UK, walking is not. While you may have been a pro since the age of 7 at crossing the street, many visitors to England are injured every year due to looking the wrong way before crossing the street. It’s an easy mistake to make, as we are so conditioned to look to the left, not the right, for oncoming traffic in North America.

 

Pedestrians vs Cars

In many countries, the car is king. Unlike most places in Canada, cars in many other countries may not stop for you if you are waiting at a crosswalk, and, more importantly, if you are crossing the street, don’t assume they will stop either! Pedestrians in other countries often don’t have the right-of-way, and it’s imperative that you exercise extreme caution around traffic, especially in large urban centres.

The reality is that road traffic accidents, including car collisions, vehicles hitting pedestrians and cyclists, account for the biggest cause of death for otherwise healthy travellers. No laughing matter.

 

Roundabouts and Other Traffic Anomalies

Roundabouts are a good example of tricky traffic anomalies that we don’t experience much here in Canada. It can be difficult getting on and off of these circular conundrums and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

 

It’s best to inform yourself of the rules before attempting one, lest you get perpetually stuck in a traffic loop, like the Griswold’s in European Vacation (look kids, Big Ben!), or worse, cause an unnecessary traffic accident.

 

A helpful resource to learn about how to negotiate roundabouts and traffic in Europe can be found by clicking the link below:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/driving-europe-tips

 

Don’t Get Distracted!

Christie Brinkley in a Red Ferrari may have been Clark Griswold’s lone (yet dangerous) distraction in the 1980’s, but today we have so many more potential distractions when traveling.

 

Turf the Text

Avoid texting, or checking your phone while driving. It’s not only extremely dangerous but illegal in most countries in Europe.

 

GPS

Whether you’re using your smartphone or a GPS device, it’s best to plug in your destination before you start driving and follow the voice commands, keeping your eyes on the road at all times. If you think you’re lost, pull over when it’s safe to consult your GPS or smartphone rather than fidget with these devices while driving!

 

Consider Car Condition

The risk of accidents is especially high in resource-poor destinations: 90% of fatalities on the road happen in low- or middle-income countries (many in South-East Asia).

Vehicles in such places may not have seat belts, and lights and brakes may not work. Before getting into a vehicle in such locales, be sure to familiarize yourself with its condition and take the necessary precautions.

Keep Calm and Drive On

It’s easy to get frazzled when driving in foreign countries. What with toll booths, higher freeway speeds, and different traffic signs, it can be daunting experience behind the wheel.

 

The best way to deal with escalating stress is to remember to breathe, keep calm and alert. Losing your cool is a recipe for accidents! Don’t worry if you take a wrong turn–you can always circle back. Keep to the slow lane if you are uncomfortable driving at higher speeds. If you are tired or overly-stressed, find a safe place to pull over and take a break.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/magazine/articles/advice/how-to-stay-safe-and-avoide-travel-accidents?page=all

 

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/driving-europe-tips

 

 

 

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Really Big Fish, Richard Dreyfuss and the Truth About Water Safety

“I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

 

That iconic line from the 1970’s film, Jaws, struck fear into the hearts of beach goers and swimming enthusiasts the world over! The movie’s tagline, “you’ll never go in the water again,” genuinely scared moviegoers into avoiding the water in fear of being eaten by over sized fish!

Realistically, attacks from angry, man-eating sharks were the least of their worries. The actual statistics regarding shark-related fatalities are minuscule compared to the number of people who are injured or killed every year in water-related accidents.

It isn’t Jaws we need to be scared of, but our own lack of preparation and water safe knowledge (and in my case, taking off my shirt in public after a winter of not working out once!).

With this in mind, here is some water-safe information that will help you stay safe this summer as you head out on the water!

 

Keep Your Children Water-Safe

Children need to be supervised constantly around water. Whether they are wading in a pool, beach, or lake, it’s important to always be within reach.

Young children can drown in less than 2 inches of water, which is the reason they need to be supervised at all times, regardless the depth of water.

Supervisors of children should be proficient swimmers and have knowledge of First Aid.

It is also recommended that any child over the age of 4, learn how to swim. In fact, children over the age of 1 will benefit from taking swimming lessons from qualified instructors.

Make sure to buy proper-fitting flotation devices and have your children wear them when near or in the water. Check the weight and size recommendations on the label and have your children try it on before heading to the water.

Sunscreen is a must. Make sure that your children are wearing a high SPF (40 to 50) and waterproof sunscreen. As they are most likely getting in and out of the water, ensure that they are re-applying often.

 

Stay Current on Currents

Rip currents are very dangerous and are responsible for many deaths every year. The best way to stay safe at the beach is to only swim in the ocean if there is a designated lifeguard present. Rip currents can form in any large open water area, such as low spots and breaks in sandbars.

 

Below are some rip current safety tips you can follow, provided by the Red Cross:

  • If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight the current.
  • Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore.
  • If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  • If you feel you can’t make it to the shore, draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
  • If someone is in trouble in the water, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.Throw the victim something that floats – a lifejacket, cooler, inflatable ball and yell instructions on how to escape the current.
  • When at the beach, check conditions before entering the water. Check to see if any warning flags are up or ask a lifeguard about water conditions, beach conditions, or any potential hazards.

 

Drinking and Swimming

There is one main rule when it comes to drinking and swimming. Don’t. Quite simply, water and alcohol do not mix (in the ocean or in your wine spritzer). Here’s why:

  • Alcohol in your system can lure you into a false sense of security when swimming
  • Your senses will become impaired, which can lead to risk-taking behaviour in the water
  • You may experience disorientation and confusion, as alcohol reduces the rate at which your brain can process information
  • Your sense of distance and direction will be altered, leaving you vulnerable to changing currents when river or sea swimming
  • The alcohol in your bloodstream will cause your body temperature to drop, which could result in hypothermia if you become stranded

 

Have Fun and Be Safe! 

So the next time you head out on the water, remember, you don’t need a bigger boat– you need more sunscreen and water-safe knowledge! Don’t let Richard Dreyfuss scare you! However, I did love him in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

 

Sources:

http://www.redcross.ca/training-and-certification/swimming-and-water-safety-tips-and-resources/swimming–boating-and-water-safety-tips/summer-water-safety

http://www.rehab-treatment.co.uk/news/alcohol-dangers-drinking-swimming-mix/

Before you travel, protect your health.

TravelSafely with TravelSafe Immunization Clinic

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