5 Summer Holiday Health Tips from a Pharmacist
With the summer holidays upon us, many people are getting ready to jet off abroad to enjoy some much-needed relaxation – but don’t forget to look after your health. To help you stay safe and healthy before and during your trip, Duncan Reid, Pharmacist at the UK’s largest online pharmacy, Pharmacy2U, has shared tips to ensure your holiday goes off without a hitch.
1. Pack for holiday emergencies
It’s a great idea to make yourself a kit full of health essentials such as hydrocortisone cream for bites and stings, insect repellent, rehydration sachets or loperamide capsules for diarrhoea, painkillers, a high factor sun cream, and after-sun cream. If you take regular medication, we’d also recommend taking a copy of your repeat prescription list with you to show any local healthcare professionals in the event of an emergency.
2. Stay Hydrated
This might seem obvious, but drinking water regularly is very important in warmer climates to avoid dehydration which, if left untreated, can cause serious problems.Symptoms of dehydration include:
● feeling thirsty
● dark yellow and strong-smelling pee
● feeling dizzy or lightheaded
● feeling tired
● a dry mouth, lips and eyes
● peeing little, and fewer than 4 times a day
Increasing your water intake should ease symptoms of dehydration but if you find it hard to drink because you feel sick or have been sick, start with small sips and then gradually drink more. Alcoholic drinks don’t count as rehydration!
3. Be Covid-19 Safe
Before heading abroad, be aware of the destination country's vaccination policy as well as checking if you need to perform any Covid tests for entry.
4. Keep Cool
It’s important to appreciate that heat can affect our everyday health. For the chronically unwell, elderly, or very young, extreme heat can pose significant health risks and it’s important to know how to keep you and your family safe during hot weather.
Health issues can include dehydration and/or overheating, and in more severe cases, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and sunstroke.
To keep cool and prevent problems you can:
● Take cold showers - regular cool baths or showers, or splashing your face with cold water, are useful ways of keeping cool.
● Clothing - try to wear natural fabrics that are loose and not restricting.
● Hydration - consume cold drinks regularly, ideally water, and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol as these can further dehydrate the body.
● Seek shade - try to stay out of the sun, and if you must go outside, wear a hat as well as sunglasses to protect your eyes.
● Protect your skin - always remember to apply sun cream with an SPF of at least 30.
● Rest - If you or someone else feels unwell, find somewhere cool to rest and drink plenty of water.
● Medical assistance - most importantly, always seek medical help if symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps persist or worsen.
5. Check where to get help
Despite all the precautions we take, we can still fall ill during our holiday, so it's worth checking where the nearest pharmacy, doctor’s surgery and hospital are from your hotel, and keep a record of their phone numbers. Know how to contact your holiday representative, if you have one; check your travel insurance policy for a helpline number; and keep your mobile phone charged while you’re out – perhaps invest in a ‘power bank’ to keep it topped up when you’re on the move.
About Pharmacy2UPharmacy2U supports nearly 700,000 NHS patients with their prescriptions, and since March 2020, it has helped patients across the UK avoid over 13 million trips outdoors by safely delivering over 30 million packs of medicines directly to their door from their state-of-the-art automated dispensing pharmacy, helping to alleviate pressure on the NHS when it matters most.
For more information about Pharmacy2U’s services, visit https://www.pharmacy2u.co.uk