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Avoiding Accidents while Abroad

sea-77737_1280Did you know that according to the World Health Organization, injuries are the leading cause of preventable death in travellers?

Accidents and injuries are the most common reason for travellers consulting a doctor, requiring hospitalization or even repatriation and death.   Estimates of

18%-24% of deaths among travellers in foreign countries are caused by injuries.

You may be wondering why this is the case.   Some of the common causes of injuries to travellers are due to: unfamiliar surroundings, they may have difficulty communicating because of a language barrier, taking greater risks than when they are at home, or the safety/equipment and transportation standards differ from their home country.

Below are a few recommendations to keep in mind when you are travelling to prevent unwelcome accidents.

Before you leave, ensure you have adequate medical insurance for your destination(s), health history, type of travel and adventure sport.

Check your surroundings; balconies, stable railings, smoke alarms, adequate ventilation


  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Be aware of water tides, currents and aquatic animals such as jellyfish
  • In pools, avoid diving in shallow water and running on slippery pool decks
  • Follow local recommendations


  •  Check the vehicle or moped is safe for driving
  • Use seat belts and helmets when available
  • Familiarize yourself with local road rules and the vehicle before you drive
  • Roads may be in disrepair, so pay attention at all times
  • As a passenger, sit in the back seat of the vehicle

Adventure Sports

  • Don’t be overambitious
  • Be aware that Canadian safety standards are higher than other countries
  • Check the condition of the equipment being used
  • Ensure you are prepared for the sport you will be undertaking;
  • Adequate trauma care may not be available in some countries; lack of emergency response could increase severity of injury and/or mortality

Remember: Use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and avoiding alcohol will significantly decrease poor judgment and accidents.

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Before you depart

hawaii-2After planning and paying for your upcoming travel adventure, cutting costs by being inadequately covered with medical Insurance and travel vaccinations is risky. While we never expect to end up needing medical care  overseas or out of province, it is a good idea to the know a few facts before you go.

The Medical Services Plan (MSP) of British Columbia will cover a portion of unexpected medical fees while you are away.  However, medical fees out of country will be much higher than MSP will cover.  If you have extended medical through your employer it is advisable to call your provider before you depart to ensure you are adequately covered .  In some cases you will need additional medical insurance.  Also, depending on your plan you could be expected to pay all medical costs accrued before you leave the hospital, clinic, Doctor’s office or other site you receive medical treatment.

Some credit card companies offer travel insurance while overseas but it is important you check with your credit card company to ensure their coverage will cover your health care needs.

Feeling confident about your medical coverage while you are away is essential.  Is it worth taking the risk to save a bit of money?

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Immunization App – keep track of your shots

immunization appLet’s face it.  Keeping track of your immunization history can be a bit of a headache.  Many times people have had shots in the emergency department, in their doctor’s office or in preparation for a trip they may have taken five to ten years earlier.

Most often people can’t remember what they’ve received and have no records to confirm their vaccination history.  Recently Immunize Canada created the Immunize Canada app that can assist you with the task of keeping track of your immunization dates and schedule – right in your phone.  It’s simple.

If you are interested to determine your immunization history or would like to make sure you are up to date with routine vaccinations or completing your vaccine series’, we can help you.

Before you travel, protect your health.

TravelSafely with TravelSafe Immunization Clinic