HEALTH AND SAFETY-TRAVELLING TO JAMMU, KASHMIR AND LADAKH
Travelling to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh is pleasant and safe but one needs to adhere to certain precautions and safety measures to keep ourselves healthy and safe. The place is safe to visit and free from major diseases, however, a change of climate or temperature can cause health problems. Therefore, it is necessary to take precautions while on a tour to Kashmir.
1.Jammu and Kashmir including Ladakh have a relatively cooler climate than other places in India. Therefore, it is advisable to bring warm clothes along with you even if you are travelling at the peak of summer. Travellers are also suggested to cover their heads in mornings and evenings.Rain coats are advisable as in these hill stations rain can start unexpectedly at any time of the day and year. Keep your heads covered in the hill stations.
2.Travellers should take great care in keeping the places clean and only dump garbage and waste products in dustbins in order to avoid pollution. You also should take necessary precautions to prevent yourself from getting a cold or flu.
3.Always drink mineral water, which is available in packed bottles in the market. Use the water available in the hotels for bathing and washing purposes but not for drinking. Do not drink water from slow moving streams, lakes or dams.
4.Avoid spicy food in the initial part of your tour. People in Kashmir love food and a lot of spices are used in the preparation of Wazawan. Be patient for a few days and then relish this king of dishes here. Do not eat raw food and eat only fresh fruit after removing their peels. Avoid buying food from street vendors, particularly uncovered ones. Avoid cold food items as much as you can.
5.In case of an emergency, do not hesitate to visit a doctor. Doctors in the state are well experienced and professional. If you are taking any medicine for some illness, do not forget to bring the medicine along. Medicines are readily available in Kashmir, but under different brand names.
6.Wash your hands as often as you can. Bring toilet paper rolls with you as these may not be available outside the city. Soaps, toothpastes and other daily use articles are easily available.
7.A few of the tourist stations in the state are located close to the Line of Control, so take care not to stray too far and always take a guide to these places. Passes are needed to access some areas of the valley, so make sure to obtain one from the concerned departments before you leave, to avoid any inconvenience.
8.To prevent yourself from sunstroke and dehydration during summers, it is advisable to wear full sleeve clothes, use hats or caps, wear sunglasses and ensure you use sunscreen before you set out. Moreover, keep yourself hydrated.
9.Acute mountain sickness is an illness that can affect mountain climbers, hikers, skiers, or travelers at high altitudes, usually above 8000 feet (2400 meters). Symptoms of mild to moderate acute mountain sickness may include difficulty sleeping,
dizziness or light-headedness,fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, rapid pulse (heart rate), shortness of breath with exertion and in more severe acute cases can progress to high-altitude cerebral edema, high-altitude pulmonary edema and blue color to the skin (cyanosis).One should take great care of AMS while mountaineering or trekking especially in Ladakh. It is recommended to take a rest for 24 to 36 hours after you arrive at Leh. And travelling from Manali to Leh through the road is also strongly discouraged.
CHD patients should avoid elevations above 4500 m since higher altitudes lead to severe hypoxia.Also one should avoid strenuous physical activities and walk slowly on mountains,stay properly hydrated , avoid alcohol and smoking, and eat well high-calorie and high-carbohydrate meals.
10.One should keep a photocopy of the passport and all other important documents in a safe place.
11.One should always lock the hotel room when retiring for the night.
12.Beware of thieves.Keep your luggage and personal belongings in your sight at all times.
13.Be smart about your money and packing.
14.Consider Travel Insurance.
15.Have Cultural awareness know what’s appropriate in the culture you will be visiting.
16.Use a seatbelt in cars.
17.Limit alcohol intake.
18.Wear protective gear during adventure activities like biking or climbing.
19.Stay with your children near water and on the road.
20.There are numerous hospitals and health centres in all the regions; rush to seek medical help whenever you need it.