10 tips for avoiding altitude sickness while vacationing

 

The first time I traveled to high altitude while on vacation, I didn’t take the threat of altitude sickness seriously. After all, I reasoned, I had grown up in the mountains, and knew how to enjoy myself in the thinner air. But I had been living at low altitude for years, and the first time I exited my mountain condo at Keystone Resort Colorado for a morning jog, I suffered. At first, I worried my poor performance meant I was terribly out-of-shape, but the persistent headache and queasy stomach I endured the rest of the day told another story: I was suffering from altitude sickness.

joshua-tree-scrambling

When I returned for a high mountain vacation with my kids, I had renewed passion for avoiding altitude sickness! We guzzled water pre and during our trip, ate and slept well, and had a great time. Before you head to high elevation with your kids, read the following tips from Dr. Josh Brown of Santa Fe’s Internal Medicine Specialists. (Yes, Santa Fe is at high elevation!)

  • Start Exercising Now: If your trip includes strenuous physical activity, start an exercise plan that includes extra cardio activity for the month or so prior to your visit.
  • Stay Hydrated: Begin drinking extra water a day or two before arriving at your destination and continue to stay well hydrated throughout your trip.
  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Try to avoid or limit beverages that contribute to dehydration.
  • Eat Foods High in Potassium: Foods such as broccoli, bananas, avocado, cantaloupe, celery, greens, bran, chocolate, granola, dates, dried fruit, potatoes, and tomatoes will help you replenish electrolytes by balancing salt intake.
  • Take Ibuprofen: Recent studies show that altitude sickness can be effectively prevented with this common and inexpensive over-the-counter medicine.
  • Plan for Trouble Sleeping: It is safe to assume that you will have difficulty sleeping, particularly during the first night in a higher altitude. Take it easy and allow for extra time to rest.
  • Climb High, Sleep Low: This mantra is especially important if you are hiking or camping at elevations above 10,000 feet. If you can, arrange the itinerary so that there are gradual increases in elevation spread throughout your trip.
  • Wear Sunscreen: Remember that higher altitude means less atmosphere to filter the sun so there is a much higher chance of sunburn compared to sea level. Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or more even in the winter. 
  • Know the Symptoms: Altitude sickness can cause loss of appetite; fatigue or weakness; dizziness or light-headedness; pins and needles; shortness of breath upon exertion; persistent rapid pulse; drowsiness; and peripheral edema (swelling of hands, feet, and face). Contact your doctor if your symptoms are severe or don’t clear up after a couple days.
  • Consult With Your Doctor: People who have had serious bouts of altitude sickness in the past should check with their doctor or an online pharmacist, like The Independent Pharmacy, about prescription medications, like Diamox, that can help alleviate symptoms. Those who have significant heart problems should also check with their doctor before traveling as higher altitudes can cause an increase in blood pressure for a few days. Be aware that those who wear oxygen, have lung problems or have difficulty breathing may experience additional complications at high altitude.

Enjoy staying and playing at high altitude destinations with your kids this summer!

Tips courtesy of Dr. Josh Brown, used with permission.

 

 

 

 

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wonderinng which blog
    platform are you using ffor thiss website? I’m getting fed up of
    Wordpress because I’ve had issues with hackers annd
    I’m lookng aat alternatives for another platform. I would
    be great if yyou coulpd point me in tthe direction of a
    good platform.

  2. Great post. I am facing many off these issues
    as well..

  3. free instagram followers bot no download says:

    Good post! We will be linking to this great article on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

  4. I think this is one of the most significant information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent :
    D. Good job, cheers

  5. evasion download 6.1.3 jailbreak says:

    I’ll immediately grab your rss as I can’t find your
    email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any?
    Kindly permit me know so that I may just subscribe.
    Thanks.

  6. Excellent blog post. I definitely appreciate this site.
    Keep writing!

  7. seo services atlanta says:

    However, we still not comforted with the realization that there
    are always two sides to a story, and online marketing is no exception. With
    a lot of SEO Companies out there, it’s no excuse to tell that you
    have no choice or that there is none that fit your needs.
    Chances are, each link you find on the first SERP point to sites that have very
    high page ranks.

  8. The many dining options available on site mean that guests do
    not have to leave the hotel unless they choose to do so.
    Bangkok’s Democracy Monument commemorates the June 1932 revolution that
    ended the rule of absolute monarchy in Thailand.
    I remember how naive I was before I went to
    Thailand.

Leave a Comment

*

Shares