When hiking or skiing in the mountains, be aware of the dangers of altitude sickness: numbness, tingling, nausea, drowsiness, headaches, and vision problems. If you experience discomfort, return to a lower altitude as soon as possible. It's a good idea to limit strenuous activity on the first day at extra-high-altitude resorts and drink plenty of water. Adults with heart problems may want to avoid all excursions above 6,500 feet. If you're traveling with a child under two years old, you may be advised by locals not to carry him or her on excursions above 6,500 feet; check with your pediatrician before leaving home.

Travelers should also be mindful of other afflictions such as heat stroke, dehydration, sunstroke, frostbite, and snow blindness. To avoid snow blindness, wear sunglasses with side shields or goggles, especially if you have light-colored eyes. You should wear sunscreen all through the year; many different brands are available at ski shops near the slopes. In rural areas, take precautions against ticks, especially in spring and summer. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and boots, and apply insect repellent containing the powerful repellent DEET. Remove ticks with tweezers, grasping the insect by the head.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

Basic over-the-counter medicines are available from pharmacies (pharmacie, Apotheke, farmacia), which are recognizable thanks to signs with green crosses.


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