Healthy Tips

Quick Dose: How Do I Plan for a Health Emergency While On Vacation?

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Medical emergencies happen, even if you’re on vacation. Although you cannot control them, preparing before you leave is just as important as planning your itinerary.

Here are some things to do before you travel:

  • Be sure you have your insurance cards and personal IDs. Include information for emergency contacts in a location that can be accessed immediately. Know what your insurance plan covers, and what costs will be your responsibility.
  • If you leave your child in the care of a friend or relative, be sure to give them a copy of your insurance card and written permission including dates, your signature and phone number. This will allow them to seek care for your child while you are away.
  • Pack a small emergency kit of favorite over the counter medications, adhesive bandages, tweezers and other first aid supplies.
  • Bring all your daily medications, ideally in their original pill containers. Even if it’s a short trip, prepare for additional days in the event your return home is delayed due to bad weather or sickness. This includes bringing extra daily medication to avoid missing doses. The containers also list your doctor, the pharmacy and the phone numbers for each should that be needed.
  • If you are traveling abroad, make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations. Allow plenty of time to get these done before your trip.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of the hospital or urgent care center closest to your destination.

Medical emergencies do happen while on vacation. Preparing ahead will give you piece of mind and may help save precious time.

- Marcia E. Neil, MD, Northwestern Medicine Convenient Care, Convenient/Urgent Care

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