Summer Vacations Are In Full-Swing; Dr. Leonard Hertko, United Security Life and Health, Emphasizes Why Proper Hydration Is Important and Provides Tips For Safe Travels.

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With Extreme Heat Waves Hitting The Nation, Dr. Leonard Hertko, Medical Director, United Security Life and Health Insurance Company (USL&H) outlines the seriousness of proper hydration as well as precautions and preventative measures to keep travels safe.

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Every cell in the human body requires water. Hydration is central to the most basic physiological functions such as regulating blood pressure and body temperature, hydration and digestion.

It is vital to ensure that during the hot, humid oppressive summer days proper hydration is sustained. In addition to proper fluid intake, there are a several precautions and preventative measures that can ensure outdoor activities are safe. Dr. Leonard Hertko, Medical Director, United Security Life and Health Insurance Company(USL&H) outlines the seriousness of proper hydration as well as precautions and preventative measures to keep travels safe.

“Without proper hydration, especially for the elderly and children/infants, risk heat-related illnesses, or in extreme cases, even death,” began Dr. Hertko. “Every cell in the human body requires water. Hydration is central to the most basic physiological functions such as regulating blood pressure and body temperature, hydration and digestion. Water plays many important roles within the body. Water provides a vehicle for other nutrients called electrolytes. Electrolytes include minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium. Water in the body transports nutrients and carries waste away from the body cells. It also helps regulate body temperature by redistributing heat from active tissues to the skin and coat the body through perspiration.”

Dr. Hertko stresses that proper hydration should start before physical activity begins or spending time outdoors during extremely hot weather conditions and should continue after activity has ended. How much a typical adult or child should be drinking depends on their body weight. The body is made up of 70% water, and needs about a dozen 8-ounce glasses of water a day to maintain healthy levels. Dr. Hertko also emphasized that it is important to think in terms of protein, complex carbohydrates and vitamins when planning out snacks or a meal before prolonged activity. It is also important to allow plenty of time for digestion before outdoor activities.

“Some of the key signs of dehydration include dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, low blood pressure, dark urine, crying without tears and headache,” shared Dr. Hertko. “Water is the best and most natural way to stop dehydration and increase electrolyte levels. Sports drinks are also an effective means to hydrate the body, but the contain high sugar levels. Coconut water is a great way to get electrolytes into the body without the added sugar,” concluded Dr. Hertko.

Dr. Hertko recommends the following precautions and preventative measures. A so called “survival kit” can be very useful and should include:

  •     Sunblock of at least 30 SPF
  •     Band-Aids
  •      A roll of tape
  •     3X3 or 4X4 gauze pads
  •     ACE bandages of 3" and 4" widths
  •     Antibiotic Ointment ( Polysporin-OTC)
  •     A cloth arm sling; inexpensive and available at all major drug stores and is especially important when traveling with young adventurous travelers.
  •     A list of your prescriptions
  •     Supply of aspirin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol
  •     Benadryl; to prevent a reaction to a bug or insect bite. It is also important to bring an Epipen if someone in the group requires one.
  •     Proper bug sprays; if bug repellant contains deet ensure it is safe to apply to small children or infants.
  •     A check up on your tetanus (lockjaw) immunization. If the last tetanus shot was 10 years, it is good idea to have a tetanus toxoid booster before leaving. If a travler suffers a dirty penetrating wound and the last tetanus shot was received more than 10 years ago, proper wound care and a tetanus booster along with an injection of tetanus antitoxin is recommended.
  •     Adequate water amounts for each traveler to remain hydrated

About United Security Life and Health Insurance Company:
USL&H is a regional insurance carrier that offers a variety of Health and Life insurance products, as well as Disability Income, Critical Illness, Cancer, Accident Hospital Indemnity, and a Dental Plus Vision and Hearing product to individuals and families. Founded in 1973, USL&H is licensed to sell its products in Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri and Nebraska through a network of independent insurance agents. For more information on United Security Life and Health Insurance Company please visit the company’s website at http://www.uslandh.com.

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