After the hustle and bustle of Mexico City, we are slowing it down a bit in the southern beach town of Puerto Escondido, Mexico. It’s HOT down here! And even though I know a few ways for how to avoid getting sick in Mexico, I unfortunately succumbed to a bit of heat exhaustion the other day.
We’ve had a rough patch in terms of health these last couple of weeks. My husband experienced a carbon monoxide scare recently. And then my daughter tumbled down the stairs in the middle of the night and required stitches. She’s fine, thankfully!
My recent encounter with heat exhaustion, which left me throwing up and nauseous for a whole afternoon, has me thinking about how important it is to know how to avoid getting sick in Mexico, or any other travel destination for that matter. It’s important to practice some general health safety tips when you’re traveling around Mexico.
This post was updated on December 7, 2019.
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Tips for staying healthy in Mexico
As travelers, our health is very important to maintain. Fortunately, the health system in Mexico is really good. And based on our experience, you’re able to find good quality hospitals where ever you are. But since we’re moving around frequently, we may not always have ready access to a doctor. So the next best thing is prevention with some general safety tips.
One of my tips for staying healthy in Mexico is to drink a lot of water. In areas of Mexico where it can get pretty hot, you want to make sure stay hydrated. Otherwise you’ll end up with heat exhaustion, like I did. The water is not always safe to drink in Mexico, though. So we like using our GRAYL water filter and purifier to make sure our water is clean to drink. It’s one of our most useful travel and family camping essentials.
A few other tips for staying healthy in Mexico is to make sure you wash your hands often. This is an especially good reminder for little kids, as they’re prone to explore with their hands. Be aware of how much time you spend in the sun, so you don’t over-exert yourself. Take breaks and stay hydrated! And try to limit your alcohol intake. At the very least, balance it out with some water too.
Looking for more tips on how we raise our kids while traveling full-time? Read here!
How to avoid getting sick in Mexico by eating safely
When it comes to food, practicing safe eating in Mexico is important, especially when you’re traveling with kids. We love eating street food when we travel. It helps us travel more sustainably by supporting local economies and connecting with the local culture. And in Mexico, it’s a cheap and easy way to experience some of the local flavors and specialties.
One of my general safety tips to prevent getting sick from local food is to visit vendors or restaurants that are frequented by locals. For one thing, you’ll know that the food is cooked hot and fresh, and another, you can trust that the locals know all the spots for safe eating in Mexico (thank you, Anthony Bourdain, may he rest in peace!) Here in Puerto Escondido, we’ve been frequenting the taco stand just around the corner from our place almost every night. They have some great tacos, and they’re almost always packed.
If you’re a vegetarian, it’s especially important to practice safe eating in Mexico. Don’t order salads unless you know what type of water is being used to clean the vegetables. Try and order grilled or cooked vegetables and fruit instead. We love to drink the aguas del dia (the fruit juice of the day) when we go to restaurants, but we’re careful to only order this from places where we know they use filtered water.
Preventing accidents for your family
So far, we’ve done a pretty good job of preventing accidents on this trip, but last week’s trip to the emergency room really shook my family. It was the middle of the night and pitch black when my daughter fell down the stairs. She forgot that there was a set of stairs right in front of her room.
I was sound asleep when it happened, and was jolted awake by the sound of loud crash. When we realized that the fall had cut open my daughter’s head, my mind instantly raced with all the worst possible scenarios that could happen.
Fortunately, although the wound was deep, there was no damage to her skull. All it took were four stitches and a week’s rest from strenuous activities. Now, a week later, her stitches have been removed, and her wound is healing up quite nicely. Sometimes, even if you try your best at preventing accidents, things can still happen.
Looking for more tips on traveling through Mexico? Read my posts here.
Planning for how to avoid getting sick in Mexico
When you travel, you never know what might happen to you or your family. Having some general safety tips and health tips on hand is a great strategy for preventing accidents on the road.
We always like to be prepared. So for families coming down here, it’s helpful to have a plan for how to avoid getting sick in Mexico. The CDC website is a useful tool for getting travel advice before your trip.
But even with all the precautions, something could still happen. Like us, you could be employing all the tips for how to avoid getting sick in Mexico, and still encounter an incident. It’s just one of the realities of long term family travel. In this case, all you can do is to stay calm and trust your parental instincts.
Do you have any tips for how to avoid getting sick in Mexico? Share them in the comments!
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