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Plan to travel by plane this winter?  If so, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Wash your hands. Under all circumstances it’s important to wash your hands regularly – this is more important when you’re in any public place. You might also carry a small bottle of hand-sanitizing gel for times when you can’t get to a sink, and sanitize your hands more frequently when traveling by plane (train or bus).
  2. Avoid touching your face. This is a good idea in normal circumstances, but especially on a plane, where you don’t know who sat in the seat before you. Never touch your face, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands and always wash your hands thoroughly after performing any personal hygiene task.
  3. Switch your seat if possible. If your flight isn’t packed, look for a seat by yourself, away from other passengers, to limit your contact with germs. It might also be a good idea for you to wipe down your seat, and anything else you touch on the plane, with an antibacterial wipe.
  4. Consider a mask. If you or someone you’re traveling with is sick and coughing, you might want to bring a surgical mask to prevent the spread of germs to other people on the plane.
  5. Protect against “airplane air.” Air inside the airplane is fairly dry, so stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and/or juices. Apply moisturizer to your skin if it becomes uncomfortably dry, and protect lips against chapping, too, by using a medicated lip balm.
  6. Reduce your risk of a blood clot. Staying immobile for prolonged periods, such as on long flights, increases the risk of developing blood clots in your legs. You can minimize this possibility by getting up from your seat and walking about the cabin every 60 to 90 minutes. Drinking plenty of water and juices can also help. Avoid beverages that cause you to urinate excessively, such as alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
  7. Pack medications just in case. It’s a good idea to pack a few over-the-counter medications in case you do start to feel a little under the weather or show symptoms of an illness while traveling. These can come in handy if you begin feeling stuffy or feel a cold coming on.

Posted by: Frank Esposito, Vice President of Expert Home Care.  New Jersey’s Expert Home Care provides professional and reliable home health care and companion care for NJ elderly, helping them with their daily living activities since 1984. Please call us toll free at 800-848-2336 when you have home care related questions or need assistance for a loved one. Get a Free Home Care Assessment (a $375 value!) when you mention this post.

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