HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

●● WITH Dr Jen­nifer Lawn, GP with Toft Road Surgery, Knutsford, and gov­ern­ing body mem­ber of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG). WHILE many of us are ex­cit­edly pack­ing our suit­cases for our up­com­ing sum­mer hol­i­day, I would like to re­mind you of the im­por­tance of stay­ing safe while trav­el­ling abroad.

If you are trav­el­ling to ex­otic lo­ca­tions, it is im­por­tant to plan any vac­ci­na­tions needed with your GP in ad­vance of your hol­i­day.

In­deed, if you are go­ing to some more un­usual des­ti­na­tions, es­pe­cially Africa and Asia, you may need to plan vac­ci­na­tions up to three months in ad­vance.

Sur­pris­ingly, al­most one in four of us don’t have vac­ci­na­tions against life-threat­en­ing dis­eases, de­spite trav­el­ling to des­ti­na­tions where ill­nesses such as malaria and yel­low fever are the norm.

Should you re­quire a vac­ci­na­tion, your GP will pro­vide you with up­dated in­for­ma­tion.

Sun­burn greatly in­creases your risk of de­vel­op­ing skin can­cer later in life, and is caused by over­ex­po­sure to ul­tra­vi­o­let rays.

While we wish to make the most of the sunny weather, I rec­om­mend keep­ing out of the sun when it is at its hottest, be­tween 11am and 3pm.

When in the sun­light, re­mem­ber to con­tin­u­ally ap­ply sun­screen with a sun pro­tec­tion fac­tor (SPF) of at least 15.

Af­ter tak­ing a dip in the pool, al­ways reap­ply sun­screen, even when us­ing one that claims to be ‘wa­ter­proof’.

I sug­gest ap­ply­ing af­ter-sun and tak­ing painkillers such as parac­eta­mol or ibupro­fen if you have suf­fered sun­burn.

En­sure that your med­i­cal kit is your top pri­or­ity when pack­ing your suit­case.

A kit with es­sen­tial items such as painkillers, anti-di­ar­rhoea tablets, an­ti­his­tamines, an­ti­sep­tic cream, plas­ters and dress­ings is just as im­por­tant as pack­ing your favourite flip flops.

If you are cur­rently on med­i­ca­tion, make sure you have enough for the du­ra­tion of your trav­els and do keep your medicines in their orig­i­nal con­tainer with your pre­scrip­tion at hand.

May I also re­mind you of the im­por­tance of ap­ply­ing for a Euro­pean Health In­sur­ance Card (EHIC) when trav­el­ling to Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions.

The card en­ti­tles you to free healthcare in Europe for up to five years.

Visit ehicdi­rect.org.uk for in­for­ma­tion.

Tak­ing a lit­tle time to plan for a safe and healthy hol­i­day will en­sure that your va­ca­tion is a time to re­mem­ber – not one you would rather for­get!

●● Dr Jen­nifer Lawn

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