Just because you’re traveling, doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind. Here’s what you need to keep you and your family safe on vacation in the Carolinas.

News, Family Health | 12 days ago

Traveling This Summer? Use This Checklist To Make Sure You're Covered In the Carolinas

Just because you’re traveling, doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind. Here’s what you need to keep you and your family safe on vacation in the Carolinas.

During the busy summer months, North and South Carolina turn into America’s playground. You could be flying a kite on the East Coast’s largest sand dune, sliding down a natural water slide or spending the day at one of the many food, art and music festivals. There’s an infinite list of things to do in this region. 

Know Before You Go

But before you trek to Hatteras Island on the Outer Banks or venture deep into the Blue Ridge Mountains, make sure you’re prepared for these beautiful locations by packing the proper gear. Because while these summertime paradises are picturesque playgrounds, accidents happen during the summer months, which means you need to prepare your family accordingly.

Are the mountains calling? Here are a few things you need in order to be prepared:

  • First aid kit: If you’re in the mountains, falls, scrapes and spills are not only possible but likely if you’re not watching your step. Be prepared for minor injuries by bringing a first aid kit equipped with some basics — like band-aids, gauze, sterile wipes and more.
  • The right shoes: If you’re going hiking, be sure to leave your high-heeled shoes or designer wingtips at home and instead opt for something sturdier. Wearing shoes with plenty of cushioning and support helps prevent soreness and injury and can improve your traction so that you avoid falls.
  • Bug spray: Mosquitoes and ticks don’t just lead to uncomfortable itching — they can also be the source of a host of serious illnesses, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. You’re especially susceptible to ticks if you’re going to be walking through tall grass. So before you hit the trails, make sure everyone has been sprayed thoroughly. Long, layered clothing can also help minimize your amount of exposed skin.
  • Take along an antihistamine: If you got bit by a bug and want to help relieve the swelling and associated with it, an antihistamine can help. Consider bringing two types: a traditional antihistamine (which may cause drowsiness) and a non-drowsy one for the daytime and seasonal allergies.
  • Heading to the beach? Be sure to throw each of these items in your beach bag before hitting the coast:
  • Sunscreen: Few things are more irritating than a nasty sunburn. And laying out in the sun without sunscreen increases your risk of developing skin cancer — so never forget to lather up before setting up camp on your beach towel. Pro tip: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (protecting against both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply 15 minutes before sun exposure for maximum effectiveness.
  • Water: It’s easy to get dehydrated after a few hours under the summer sun. Bring plenty of water to keep you and the kids hydrated. A few other drinks — low in sugar, but high in nutrients — are also a good idea if you want to replenish electrolytes after working up a sweat throwing around the Frisbee.
  • Ibuprofen: Packing an e anti-inflammatory is a good way to provide relief if someone in your family develops a sun-induced headache. Although your first goal is to avoid getting a sunburn, ibuprofen can help relieve the pain of a burn if you have the misfortune of developing one.

Other Places to Prepare For

But North and South Carolina aren’t all beaches and mountains. If your family is embarking on another summertime adventure — like a trip to an amusement park, a day at the lake, or a family bike ride — be sure to have these items on hand:

  • Helmet: Heading for a bike ride along the region’s many gorgeous trails or byways? Never leave home for a bike ride without a helmet. Be sure to pick a helmet that is comfortable and fits correctly for every member of your family.
  • Your phone: Amusement parks are huge and crowded. If one parent wants to take two of the younger kids over to the kiddie rides while the other parent is hitting the roller coasters with the oldest child, you’ll want to have a phone on you so that you can communicate and avoid getting lost.
  • Snacks: Whether you’re headed to the lake, to a trail or to a park, you have a long day in store. And long concession lines or non-immediate access to food means you probably want to bring along some healthy, heat-resistant snacks — such as fruit, nuts or jerky — so that you can keep everyone energized and in a good mood!

No matter what corner of the Carolinas you travel to this summer, be prepared by downloading the Atrium Health Virtual Visit App from the Apple Store or Google Play . Connect immediately to a provider 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a live healthcare visit through your mobile device anywhere in the Carolinas.