Your hol­i­day health check­list

Ev­ery­thing you need to know for a safe and happy hol­i­day this sum­mer…

Woman & Home - - Contents -

How to keep safe and happy

Is your in­sur­ance up to date?

A quar­ter of Bri­tish trav­ellers sur­veyed said they went on hol­i­day with­out in­sur­ance (up from 22% in 2016), ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey of more than 2,000 Brits by The As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tish Travel Agents (ABTA). Yet, 3,000 trav­ellers a week need emer­gency med­i­cal care while trav­el­ling abroad – with the cost of some overseas med­i­cal treat­ments cost­ing more than the price of the av­er­age UK house.

tip “Never travel any­where with­out in­sur­ance and a ba­sic first aid kit that in­cludes dress­ings, an­tisep­tic, painkillers, a ther­mome­ter and cream for bites and stings,” ad­vises Shirley Ban­natyne, spe­cial­ist nurse in travel health at Medigold Health.

Pre­vent a dicky tum

Take daily pre­bi­otics for a few weeks be­fore you go to boost good bac­te­ria – protecting the gut against in­fec­tion, food poi­son­ing and trav­eller’s di­ar­rhoea. Try Bimuno, £10.99 for 30 sa­chets.

tip Pack re­hy­dra­tion sa­chets to quickly re­place lost elec­trolytes in the event of trav­eller’s di­ar­rhoea. “UK trav­ellers top the euro­pean league ta­ble for malaria be­cause they don’t pro­tect them­selves,” ex­plains Howard Carter, bite pre­ven­tion ex­pert (less­mosquito.com). Last-minute travel, ig­no­rance about malar­ial hot spots and fail­ing to take anti-malar­ial pills or use mos­quito re­pel­lent are the most com­mon rea­sons for around 2,000 Brits re­quir­ing treat­ment for malaria. Yet, it only takes one bite from an in­fected mos­quito to con­tract the dis­ease. Visit fit­for­travel.nhs.uk and seek med­i­cal ad­vice at least eight weeks be­fore you’re due to travel, as some jabs need to be given well in ad­vance.

tip “Spray an in­sect re­pel­lent such as Incog­nito, £9.99, on and around your door, as mos­qui­toes of­ten ‘lie in wait’ out­side doors and win­dows,” warns Howard.

Avoid in­sect bites Stay safe

fa­mil­iarise your­self with beach flags: red and yel­low flags mark ar­eas that are pa­trolled by life­guards so are the safest places for swim­ming and in­flat­a­bles. A red flag in­di­cates dan­ger – so you should never en­ter the wa­ter when this is fly­ing. When you see black and white che­quered flags, it means an area of wa­ter has been marked for use by craft, like surf­boards. And an or­ange wind­sock in­di­cates off­shore wind con­di­tions, so don’t use in­flat­a­bles.

tip What­ever the wa­ter ac­tiv­ity (even if it’s just sit­ting in a boat), make sure you wear a buoy­ancy aid that fits, says David Walker, leisure safety man­ager at roSPA (royal So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Ac­ci­dents). “Too small and it won’t pro­vide enough buoy­ancy; too big and it will float up around your ears in the wa­ter, make it harder for you to breathe.”

While abroad, avoid ice in drinks – freez­ing doesn’t kill most bugs, it pre­serves them and ex­tends their life

Don’t burn

eight out of 10 peo­ple fail to ad­e­quately ap­ply sun­screen be­fore go­ing out in the sun, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey by the Bri­tish As­so­ci­a­tion of Der­ma­tol­o­gists.

“It should be ap­plied half an hour be­fore go­ing out­doors, giv­ing it time to be ab­sorbed and start work­ing,” says Clare o’Con­nor, UK sun care ad­vi­sor at Boots.

tip Pack Soleve Sun­burn re­lief, £9.95, just in case, sug­gests Dr Paul Still­man, GP. “It’s the only ‘af­ter sun’ prod­uct that com­bines the power of ibupro­fen with a sooth­ing mois­turiser.” w&h

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