Medical City Healthcare - January 26, 2016

It's always a good time to take the family on a memory-making road trip. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is a favorite destination with something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're from out of town on an extended stay or just want to explore more on a day or weekend trip outside your normal range, here's a quick guide to some of North Texas' best family attractions and tips for making any road trip safer.

Urban attractions galore.

You don't have to travel far to find something new or rediscover an old favorite. To experience the area's Western heritage, get tickets to the Mesquite Championship Rodeo or head to the Fort Worth Stock Yards National Historic District featuring a daily longhorn cattle drive. You can even get to the Stockyards aboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad and tour charming Grapevine's shops, galleries, restaurants, and wineries while you're there. If you enjoy a faster pace, check out the Texas Motor Speedway or the rides at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. If those ideas are too tame, check out the aquariums in Dallas or the nationally recognized zoological parks in both Dallas and Fort Worth where you can spend a day on the wild side.

TIP: Wherever you go, remember to drink plenty of water in the Texas heat to avoid dehydration and heat illness. Get help immediately if anyone suffers headache, dizziness, nausea, or loss of consciousness, which are symptoms of heat stroke, a serious medical condition.

Off the beaten path.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and Fort Worth Botanic Gardens are both great places to enjoy leisurely strolls and relaxing picnics surrounded by lush gardens and water features. For those who like to hike in preserved natural settings, visit the Trinity River Audubon Center and the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. You can also explore nature's canopy up close at the Trinity Forest Aerial Adventure Park. For an experience that's really out there, visit the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center and Dinosaur Valley State Park in nearby Glen Rose.

TIP: Carry your SPF 30 or higher sunblock with you and reapply as directed to prevent sunburn. When visiting nature areas, use mosquito repellent and dress in long sleeves, pants, and closed-toe shoes to prevent bites and stings. Follow all posted regulations at attractions, parks, nature centers, lakes, and recreational areas, and stay on trails to avoid injuries from falls or wildlife bites.

Arts, history, and culture.

One thing Dallas and Fort Worth have in common is amazing museums. In Dallas, check out the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and George W. Bush Presidential Center.  In Fort Worth, take in The Kimbell Art Museum, The Modern Art Museum, and The Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

TIP: Even indoor activities can have hidden dangers. Wear proper walking shoes to avoid tripping and falling on city pavement and steps. Carry a cell phone with emergency contact and medical information.

More Road Trip Safety Tips.

Before you hit the road, whether in your car, a rental or an RV, packing an extra measure of safety precaution can help you avoid injuries and an unintended trip to the emergency room.

  • Have your vehicle serviced to ensure fluid levels, belts, tires, brakes, lights, and wipers are good to go.
  • If renting a car and a child safety seat is needed, rent it with the car to ensure the proper size, fit and installation in the car you will be driving.
  • Check with your cell phone provider to be sure you will have coverage in the areas you plan to visit.
  • Check weather forecasts to be sure everyone has the right attire for the temperatures and your activities.
  • Carry a first-aid kit with you that includes: an auto-inject epi-pen in case of sudden allergic reactions, prescription medications in labeled pharmacy containers, and your medical and emergency contact information
  • At rest stops and parks, feel the temperature of playground equipment before you let the children play to avoid burns to young skin.
  • NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF CHILDREN IN THE WATER, whether at the hotel pool, waterpark, or lake.

Medical City Healthcare wishes you and your family a water-safe summer, but if you find yourself in over your head, one of our many Medical City ER locations across North Texas can throw you a lifeline. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.

Find a fast Medical City ER near you or call our free, 24/7 Ask a Nurse hotline.

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Revised 5/3/2018

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