In-Flight Safety Tips

in

We've all heard the stats: Flying is the safest way to travel. But that's not to say it doesn't come with its own set of health risks. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your next flight's a happy and healthy one.

Illustration of two sick people on a plane.

Drink up! (Water, that is.)

Due to the extremely low cabin humidity, air travel can cause major dehydration. Pack a reusable water bottle and as soon as you're through security, fill 'er up with water or purchase one or two large bottles of H2O to take on board.

Fill up on fibre.

Lack of activity combined with dehydration can also lead to constipation on long flights. High-fibre snacks, such as an apple, pear, bran muffin or popcorn, along with plenty of water, can reduce the risk of constipation. Also, get up and walk the aisle during your flight to keep your digestive system moving.

Lube up.

You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a plane. Viruses love to set up camp in dry noses, while the stress and exhaustion of travelling suppress the immune system. One good way to lessen your chances is to coat the inside of your nose with petroleum jelly. Also, given the close quarters, be extra diligent about keeping your hands clean and away from your mouth and nose. Hand sanitizer is a traveller's best friend.

Chew gum.

As a plane takes off, the atmospheric pressure thins, and the cabin is artificially pressurized to about 75%. The air trapped in our bodies, most notably in our middle ear, is still at standard atmospheric pressure and starts to expand, which can cause discomfort. Chewing gum can reduce the pressure in your ears as it encourages swallowing, which opens up your Eustachian tubes and equalizes the pressure. Yawning and the Valsalva manouevre (holding your nose and blowing) can also help provide relief.

Wear comfortable shoes.

Deep-vein thrombosis is a rare but serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep veins within the legs due to lack of movement. These clots can travel to your lungs and result in pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening. Your best bet to combat clots is to keep your legs moving during your flight. Walk up and down the aisles to increase circulation. If you are at higher risk, you may also want to purchase compression stockings.

 

Also on CBC