At a time of year when many people take a break from work and studying to enjoy festivities and relaxation with family and friends, it is easy for health-related essentials and responsibilities to slip one’s mind…

Health Squared medical scheme has you covered with this handy checklist to take the stress out of your holiday, whether you are spending it at home or travelling.

To help make the summer holidays as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, pack the following items and take the following steps in preparation for your travels.

Prescribed medication

“Ensure you have sufficient amounts of any prescribed medicine before travelling, and keep a copy of the prescription with you. People taking chronic medications, must stick to their medicine schedule rather than taking a ‘holiday’ from their prescribed treatment, which can be detrimental to one’s health and wellbeing,” says Health Squared spokeswoman Bianca Viljoen.

When one is out of their usual routine on holiday, it can be harder to remember to take medicine and it is therefore worthwhile investing in a pill box marked with the days of the week, or setting reminders on a cellphone to help keep track of daily medicine usage.

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“Ensure you have sufficient amounts of any prescribed medicine before travelling, and keep a copy of the prescription with you.”

First aid kit

A well-stocked first aid kit can make all the difference in being prepared for possible mishaps when you are away from home. A good first aid kit should include paracetamol, antihistamines, treatments for insect stings, antacid, rehydration remedies and burns ointment, as well as sterile latex gloves, dressings, plasters and disinfectant. Check whether any of the medicines and ointments have expired and restock as necessary.

It is also a good idea to draw up a list of each family member’s medical information, including any allergies, medication and existing health conditions. Emergency contact numbers and medical scheme membership numbers should also be included as a precaution. Keep a copy of this information handy, either in the glove compartment of your car or in the first aid kit – or both.

Car safety and emergency services stickers on your vehicle

It is always best to be prepared for worst-case scenarios, and this includes ensuring that your vehicle is equipped with a spare tyre, warning triangle and a few basic tools. Another precaution that should not be overlooked is ensuring you have emergency medical services stickers on your vehicle, which in the case of Health Squared members would be that of our designated service provider, Netcare 911.

Sun protection

Do not underestimate the danger or discomfort of sunburn over the holidays. Apply a high sun protection factor sunscreen frequently, even on overcast days, and ensure you have a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, neck and ears from the sun.

Medical scheme membership card and important numbers

It is vital to keep your medical scheme membership card, which can be your passport to accessing your healthcare cover benefits, with you at all times – whether you are travelling or not.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.