Summer Holiday Safety A to Z!

Compliplus Summer Safety 2Summer holidays are wonderful, travelling to new places, eating new cuisines and enjoying the sunshine but things can happen to spoil your holiday. This guide is a handy A to Z to make sure you have all your health and safety bases covered.

A - Air travel

Studies have found that sitting within one row of a sick passenger on a flight means you have an 80% chance of picking up an infection. Applying an allergen barrier balm to the base of the nostrils before you board can help prevent airborne germs from entering your body.

B - Beach safety

Learn your flag colours.

Red and yellow flags mark lifeguard patrols, so are safest for swimming.

Plain red flags mean danger, so don’t go into the water.

Black and white chequered flags indicate areas for surfing, while an orange windsock means offshore wind conditions, so inflatables shouldn’t be used.

C - Car hire

Driving on the opposite side of the road to what you’re normally used to can be confusing as its very easy to forget which side of the road you’re supposed to be on. As with any car you should familiarise yourself with the controls before setting off.

D – Drowning

According to UK research more UK children die in pools while on holiday abroad than in pools in the UK. Never leave children unattended near or in water. In addition, be careful at the seaside as many holidaymakers don’t realise how challenging swimming in open water can be, even for strong swimmers.

D - Drinking water

If in doubt, stick to bottled water (ensure the seal is intact) and avoid ice in drinks.

E – EHIC

A valid European Health Insurance Cards give you state-run medical treatment in EU countries (and a few others) for the same price as a local. This is a free card available in Ireland but many who end up needing treatment abroad don’t have a valid EHIC.

F - First aid kit

Essentials include painkillers (adult and child), plasters, pills for travel sickness and diarrhoea, antiseptic cream and bite and sting relief. Remember to bring an adequate supply of prescribed medications.

G – Gastritis

If you get an upset stomach, sip water and take rehydration sachets if needed.

H – Heat Rash

This rash is also called prickly heat and is actually a reaction to sunlight, causing blocked sweat ducts. If you can, avoid the heat, and take cool baths and showers, or use air conditioning. Applying a mild steroid cream can help to soothe the irritation.

I – Insurance

Make sure you always have holiday insurance. Almost a quarter of adults travel without any, yet a claim is made every minute.

J – Jet lag

Minimise alcohol and switch to the local time zone as quickly as possible, even while on the flight. Your bodies circadian rhythms can be shifted by bright light, so getting out in the sun will help you ease into the new time zone better than sleeping.

K – Keep cool

A tepid bath or shower just below body temperature is far more effective at cooling you down than a cold one (which can cause the body to try to warm up). Keeping after sun lotions in the fridge will cool you down quicker as well.

L – Leisure sickness

According to the Dutch scientists who coined the phrase, when we relax, our bodies let down their defences and seize the opportunity to repair and restore, leaving us susceptible to infection. Boost your immune system by taking regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and alleviating stress.

M – Malaria

If travelling to malaria zones, it’s important to take anti-malarial pills and use repellent in mosquito hotspots. It can be helpful to spray insect repellent on and around your apartment or villa door before entering to keep mosquitoes out and spray clothing as well as exposed skin – mosquitoes can bite through fabric.

N – Nude

Stripping off completely is the most effective way of applying sunscreen and preventing burnt bits. Do it in the privacy of your villa or hotel room, let it soak in, then put on your swimsuit.

P – Protect eyes

Prolonged UV exposure to the eyes has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration and eye cancer, so wearing sunglasses is a must. Ensure that your sunglasses are marked with the CE (European Community Standard), BSEN1836 (British Standard) or UV400 markings.’

Q – Queues

Ports, Airports and Stations are always busier in the summer months and whilst abroad it may take you longer to figure out how to get from A to B. Remove the stress by arriving in plenty of time for travel.

R – Rabies

Keep a safe distance from animals when abroad. If bitten or scratched, wash the wound thoroughly, apply antiseptic cream or alcohol, leave the wound open and go to the nearest hospital immediately.

S – Sunburn

Sunburn is a common complaint but for more serious cases, if the skin is blistering, or a young child succumbs, seek medical advice.

Travel sickness

There are a range of travel sickness medications available, For a non-chemical solution, sea sickness bands can be helpful, as they press on an acupuncture point which can ease nausea and sickness.’

U – UV rays

UV-A rays cause premature skin ageing, while UV-B rays cause burning.

The star rating on the bottle shows the protection level against UV-A, while the SPF number shows the level of protection against UV-B.

Infrared-A rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing both short and long-term damage, so use a broad spectrum sunscreen.

V – Vitamin supplements

Boost your natural defences by taking vitamin C and Echinacea.

W - Water

It’s important to stay hydrated. The heat causes us to sweat more and lose bodily fluids through sweating. Alcohol can also lead to dehydration so ensure you are getting enough water.

X – Xtreme Sports

On holidays our thrill-seeking nature often comes out and the lure of the bungee jump or white-water rafting may sound like a great idea. Protect yourself and ensure you use protective equipment, e.g. a buoyancy aid in water. Make sure it fits properly.

Y – Yawn

Yawning (or sucking sweets) opens the eustachian tubes in the ear, which can help ease pain caused by pressure fluctuations on an aeroplane.

Z – Zzzzs

Pack an eye mask and earplugs. And don’t use an e-reader in bed, as the blue light emitted sends alerting signals to your body clock, blocking the release of sleep-inducing melatonin. Remember, it’s your holiday, so relax and take it easy!!!