There’s nothing quite like a painful or injured foot or ankle to ruin your summer vacation! Granted, it’s not fun being on holiday with any type of injury; however, a bum elbow or a broken arm doesn’t hinder mobility – or put a damper on pretty much any and every activity you try to participate in – quite like a sprained ankle or a flare up of plantar fasciitis. So, we thought we’d provide you with 10 tips – courtesy of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons – to keeping your feet safe this summer!
1. Planning on a trek through the airport or a full on shopping marathon? Make sure to wear comfy shoes! Flip-flops and sandals up your risk of tripping and falling (and spraining – or worse! – your ankle) and provide absolutely NO support. The last thing you want is to have feet that can’t keep up with the rest of you!
2. Now that you know to wear comfortable shoes, make sure to wear socks, too. Socks help protect your skin from shoe friction, which means less calluses and blisters. Plus, they provide an extra layer of protection when you have to be in places where you’re required to have your shoes off – like while walking through the metal detector at the airport.
3. While we’re talking about shoes, make sure your kids have proper footwear as well.
4. And, while we’re talking about flip-flops and sandals, use them sparingly. With that said – it’s always nice to have a pair on hand should you need to be in a locker room or around a pool. Plantar warts and athlete’s foot are NOT the type of souvenirs you want to be bringing back home!
5. Vacation + new shoes = recipe for disaster. New shoes can be stiff and less than forgiving which means a day of sightseeing or a night of dancing can be cut short by aching feet…and nobody wants that!
6. Pack an antifungal powder or cream. Using one of these products can help fend off athlete’s foot – which is pretty easy to pick up if you’re staying in a hotel or using a public pool or at a water park.
6. Always use a bathmat – or towel – outside of the shower or bathtub. Having one on the floor to step out onto can help prevent slips and falls.
7. If you’re going to be travelling for an extended amount of time, make sure to stretch – and walk around, if possible – at least every two hours. This will help keep your blood circulating and help to prevent the formation of blood clots in your legs.
8. Compression socks are also a great idea when travelling. They help to prevent blood clots as well (by pushing blood through the legs and back to the heart and lungs).
9. Remember to pack a small first aid kit. Band-aids, sterile water or saline (like eye wash solution), and antibiotic cream are all great items to include. That way, should you get a cut or blister, you can treat it on the spot!
And, of course, should you sustain a foot or ankle injury – be it on vacation or on your way to the coffee shop down the street – make sure to seek proper medical attention! Dr. Krejci, Prairie Orthopaedics foot and ankle specialist, is here to help you keep your feet in tip-top condition…no matter what the season!