Health > First Aid > Holiday Health
A happy holiday can be ruined by unexpected illness. But it is possible to protect yourself and your family by taking sensible precautions.
Becoming ill on holiday can be a serious matter. Everyone knows that foreign holidays can play havoc with the digestive system. If it is not diarrhea, it is constipation flu-type symptoms that some holiday-makers succumb to. You could run up high doctor’s fees as well as a high temperature. Perfect health on holiday cancer be guaranteed, but you can take precautions which will reduce the chances of illness.
WHICH YOU CAN DO IN ADVANCE ?
If you have an illness or condition which requires continuous drug treatment, you can get a reasonable supply of medication from your doctor-plus a check-up if necessary. You ma need more drugs on holiday, so make sure you have all the details of the drugs written down.
Anyone with a serious disease who is holidaying abroad should obtain the address of their country’s embassy or the mission nearest to where they will be staying. There just might be an emergency requiring perhaps special medical supplies or transport home. The travel agent or passport office sill have these addresses, or you can obtain them on arrival from a tourist office or police station.
It is always worth having a dental check before going abroad just to reduce the chances of unexpected toothache. Dental treatment may be difficult to come by or expensive in some countries.
Children are more vulnerable to travel sickness than adults, the worse ages being between four and ten. Some people, of course, never grow out of it and there is little they can do except buy travel sickness pills and take them before travelling, always following the instructions on the label carefully and keeping to the stated doses. Remember, if driving, that they case drowsiness. Children need junior-strength travel pills.
FOOD AND WATER PRECAUTIONS
Most places have healthy drinking water, but if you have any doubt inquire at the hotel reception or ask the agent, if you are renting a cottage or villa. At camp sites you will be told which taps to use, but it is useful to take water-purifying tablets; these are available from chemists. If the water is impure, use the tablets even when rinsing your teeth.
Do not drink from local fountains or use the water to dilute squash unless you know it is pure. Use bottled mineral water instead.
Wash any fruit and salads vegetables that you buy in our water just before you eat them; or, alternatively, wash them when you bring them back from the shop and store them away from flies. protect other food similarly and keep perishables in a cool place.
If you are reheating food, make sure it is done very thoroughly. Fresh cooked food is safer than reheated food. Keep cooked and uncooked meats separately and wash utensils and work tops thoughtfully.
In place where the hygine leaves something to be desired, the most dangerous foods are raw vegetables, salads, shell fish, cream, ice cream and underdone meat or fish.
AVOIDING SUN BURN
A certain amount of sunshine is good for the skin, but too much will cause burning and coarsening. Avoid the strong midday sun. fair skinned people need special protection. Use plenty of sun oil and remember after swimming always to apply it.
Protect children’s heads and shoulders with a sun-hat and cotton top while they are playing on the beach; and remember that sunlight is reflected from the sea and sand so do not neglect to apply their sun oil either. Snow and high altitudes combine to create a similar hazard.
MEDICAL TREATMENT BOARD
Treatment can be very expensive in countries which do not have a reciprocal agreement and it makes sense to take out private medical insurance. Travel agents will arrange this for you and your family or it can be done at airport terminals. Alternatively, you can go direct to an insurance broker; this will be slightly more expensive, but more thorough coverage is offered.