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She says mishaps remain the number onehealth risk to vacationers.
“When people are on vacation, theyrelax and let their guard down,” Effasays. “They tend to drink more and theybecome more prone to injuries.” And,in some destinations, traffic may not beorderly and sidewalks may be poorlymaintained, adding to injury risk.
“You can’t get immunized for injuries
and you can’t take a pill to prevent them,
either,” she says. “It’s a matter of being
Some things, like the mishap-prone
tourist, never change. But over the course
of their careers, Effa and Jeffery have
noticed new trends in vacationers. In
general, more people are travelling as a
family and need to be vigilant of their
“Any parents vacationing with children
need to think of a vacation that is suitable
for the children, not themselves,” Jeffery
says. “Make sure you don’t go far from
medical assistance and pace your day to
the children’s energy levels.”
Seniors, too, need to pace themselves.
More and more elderly people are travel-
ling to higher-risk areas. As they tend
to have more existing health conditions
than the general population, they need
to assess their health and the risks of
“Seniors need to take along theirmeds,” Effa says. “And they need to becareful to adapt slowly to hot climates asthey are at highest risk of getting a heartattack.” It is also important they get theirflu shots before travelling.
Albertans vacationing close to home needto prepare and exercise caution.
Many snow vacations centre around
activities like skiing or snowboarding,
and even avid outdoor athletes must keep
their safety in mind. “I recommend to
my patients that they ski well within their
abilities and within the ski hill boundar-
ies,” says Vulcan-based Dr. Leonard Wade.
“I ask them about previous knee injuries,
how often they ski and how long they’ve
Wade is an avid skier and well knows
the physical demands of the sport. He