Here are some general tips for a healthy trip abroad. If in doubt, be sure to ask your pharmacist for advice.
Whether you are travelling abroad or staying in the UK, it is important to:
Deep Vein Thrombosis
It is thought that sitting still for a long time, such as on a long haul flight, can lead to blood clotting in the veins.
To avoid this:
This is by far the most common problem to affect travellers and is often caused by contaminated food and drink.
To avoid travellers’ diarrhoea:
If you are travelling to an area where malaria is a risk, prevention is vital. Speak to your GP or pharmacist at least one month before you travel as some anti-malarial tablets are only available on prescription.
To reduce the chance of being bitten by a mosquito or other disease-carrying insect:
To avoid the risk of contracting sexually-transmitted diseases, always use a condom.
Immunisation protects you from diseases. You may already be protected from diseases such as tetanus, but other immunisations, such as typhoid, would generally be given especially for travel. Although few immunisations are legally required before you travel, many are recommended for holiday destinations. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further information.
Remember to use your common sense when taking part in outdoor or sporting activities. Alcohol should not be drunk before swimming or taking part in water sports or any other activity during which you could be hurt.
It is better to buy items you may need in the UK as you will be familiar with the brands. It would also be easier than trying to explain your symptoms to a non-English-speaking pharmacist.
Here is a list of useful medicines and dressings with a description of their uses. All are quite cheap and worth stocking at home in readiness for minor illnesses.
Keep them in a box or cupboard with a lock - or store them well out of the reach of children.
Soluble Aspirin Tablets
Good for headaches, colds, sore throats (gargle with the solution), and pains in general. Aspirin should NOT be given to children under 16.
For relief of pain or fever in young children.
Sedative Cough Linctus
For dry or painful coughs - but not coughs caused by common colds.
Add to hot water to make steam inhalations for treating catarrh and dry or painful coughs.
Again, for steam inhalations. Also useful for children with stuffy noses or dry coughs. Rub on the chest and nose.
Ephedrine Nose Drops
For runny noses in children over one year old. Use before meals and at night but not for more than four days.
One teaspoon diluted in warm water for cleaning cuts and grazes.
For treating septic spots, sores in the nose and grazes.
For dabbing (not rubbing) on insect bites, stings and sunburn.
For minor cuts.
3" Wide Crepe Bandage
To keep dressings in place. To support sprained or bruised joints.
For cleaning cuts and grazes.
For removing splinters.
Have a safe holiday!