Click2Pharmacy is ideally placed to provide you with the latest and up-to-date travel health advice including travel vaccination and anti-malaria recommendations. You can contact us during our opening times on 0161 628 7821 or by email: Info@Click2Pharmacy.co.uk
We advise you to contact us at the earliest opportunity to give yourself plenty of time to prepare so you can enjoy your holiday and not let problems such as sunburn or upset stomachs ruin it.
Travelling to different climates and environments abroad can expose you to disease and health risks. You should be aware of the dangers and how to stay healthy. Diseases which aren't present in the UK such as yellow fever and malaria etc are common in some areas of the world.
This is a crucial stage as advance planning can save a lot of time and problems whilst you’re away giving you and your family more time to enjoy your holiday.
Before you confirm your holiday carry out some research to ensure the destination has adequate facilities for the healthcare needs of you and your family.
The following questions need to be asked regarding the location?
- Is any travel vaccines required?*
- Are any anti-malaria preparations required?*
- Is it a long journey?
- If any of my family has special requirements such as health needs or accessibility does the destination offer them?
- Are we all suitable to travel?
*Contact our team for up to date advice – some vaccinations and malaria tablets need to be taken several weeks before they are effective so when considering your destination and date of travel please check theses requirements first.
Travel or “motion” sickness is a set of symptoms, usually dizziness, nausea and even vomiting. These symptoms occur as a response to small movements which are misinterpreted by the brain. The information from the eyes and the inner ear are conflicting, leading to a state of confusion.
Travel sickness can occur during travelling by road, air, sea, or train. You can reduce the symptoms by ensuring your environment is well ventilated, looking ahead and distracting yourself with music or games. Drink water so you are well hydrated and avoid heavy or fatty meals before or during the journey.
As with most ailments, prevention is better than cure. There are anti sickness remedies that are available from the pharmacy, and can be taken before travel. Acupressure bands are a non-medicinal alternative. The bands are placed around the wrist and apply pressure to a precise point. This reduces nausea and vomiting.
Please check with the pharmacist or your GP if the remedies are suitable for you.
If you are pregnant, visit your GP or midwife to discuss any health implications of travelling especially if it is a long journey or if you’re planning to go abroad.
Some general advice:
- Avoid travelling to destinations where you may be exposed to infectious diseases as this may put you and the unborn child at risk. Vaccinations and Anti-malaria medication are not recommended during pregnancy. If you have to visit a risk area then visit your GP for further support.
- Check out the healthcare facilities of your chosen destination and ensure they meet your needs
- Check with the airline you are planning to travel with will allow you to travel. Most airlines require a medical certificate if you're travelling from the 28th week.
- The best time to fly is between 14 to 28 weeks
- Before travel have a health check at your GP.
- Take your hospital medical pregnancy/medical records
- Take out travel insurance and make sure it covers pregnancy, in particular premature birth and changing the return date.
- Be careful of the type of foods you eat. Avoid salads and only eat thoroughly cooked foods to reduce risk of food poisoning. See food safety section.
- Pregnant women have a higher risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) usually in the leg. This is when a blood clot occurs in a major vein due to poor circulation and dehydration. The risks are increased during travel.
- Drink plenty of fluids during and after your journey
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Regular exercise or walking during the journey especially if it is long journey
- Wear Flight socks
If during or after the journey you experience any of the following symptoms seek immediate medical attention:
- Pain in leg/calf
- Warm/hot skin
Pain such as headaches, muscle pains, toothaches can be treated using general pain killers. Visit our Self help section to find out more details
The chances of experiencing stomach upset whilst travelling are higher. This is not only due to poor food hygiene, but can be caused by stress and eating foods that are unfamiliar and upset digestion.
The most common symptoms are vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhoea. You may also experience aches and pains, fevers, dehydration and weakness. Food poisoning is normally caused by food not being thoroughly cooked or being contaminated by not being thoroughly washed or the preparer did not wash his hands. This allows bacteria to be present which can make you ill or produce toxins that make you ill.
By using good food practice and hygiene the chances of you getting food poisoning can be greatly reduced. See section: Food Safety Advice. Prevention is better than treatment.
- Avoid food for at least several hours
- Drink plenty of fluids (bottled water). Small sips and small amounts at first and gradually build it up
- Avoid sport or sugary drinks
- Avoid alcohol
- Use Rehydration sachets to replace lost salts and sugars
- Treat any aches and temperature with paracetamol if the product is suitable for you
- When you ready to try eating again start of with bland and light foods such toast and rice.
Food safety advice should always be followed. In addition to this, you can take products to treat diarrhoea and dehydration. It is advisable to report any incidences of food poisoning whilst abroad.
Seek medical advice from a doctor if your symptoms persist for more than a day, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, if the patient is a young child, or if you are experiencing additional symptoms such as blood in the stools.
Not all stomach problems are due to food poisoning. Change of climate, change of routine, change of type of food, overindulgence, stress, too much alcohol and smoking can all play a role in indigestion and heartburn.
These factors can cause an overproduction of stomach acid and digestive juices which can irritate the lining of the stomach. The acid may escape up the food pipe and can cause a painful burning sensation.
Simple antacids can be used as a treatment for the symptoms. Contact a doctor if you experience any vomiting, blood in stools or if the problems persist. Visit our self help section for more information
Constipation can be caused by several problems. Most often it is due to a change of diet. Drink plenty of fluids and increase the fibre in your diet. A mild laxative can be used to ease your symptoms.
Sun protection is crucial to avoid sunburn. You can get sunburn in this country just as easily as abroad.
You can protect yourself by:
- Staying in the shade between 11am and 3pm (this is when the sun is at its strongest)
- Protecting your skin by wearing sun glasses, a wide brimmed hat and covering your skin with clothing.
- Using sunscreen.
Following these steps will reduce the risk of sunburn, which can lead to skin cancer. For children, it is vital that they are protected from the sun as early as possible. Young skin is much more susceptible to damage from the sun. Taking precautions from an early age means that children will carry on protecting themselves in later years.
Some people get sunburn faster than others due to the colour of their skin. Fair skin contains less of a pigment called melanin, which absorbs and reflects ultraviolet rays. People with darker skin have more melanin, so their skin takes longer to burn.
A sunscreen is a topical product that can be a lotion, gel, or spray. Sunscreen reflects ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, and protects the skin from this radiation. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating is an indicator of the time that can be spent in the sun with sunscreen, compared to a person that is not wearing sunscreen. So if you normally burn in the sun after 10 minutes, applying a sunscreen of SPF 10 means you would burn after 110 minutes.
Conventional sunscreens mainly protect against one type of UV ray, UV-B, which causes reddening of the skin, i.e. sunburn. Broad spectrum sunscreens protect against UV-B and some UV-A rays. These rays cause deep cell damage.
When buying sunscreen, look for a minimum SPF of 15. Generally the higher the SPF the better the protection. For broad spectrum sunscreens a rating of 4 stars or above is recommended.
Tips on how to use sunscreen:
- Sunscreen should be applied 15-20 minutes before going in the sun.
- People with fairer skin need a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating, preferably above 30.
- It should be applied on any exposed skin, including the back of your neck, the tops of your ears and feet.
- Remember to reapply sunscreen after 2 hours, and immediately after if it is rubbed or washes off.
- Children should be given additional protection after wearing sunscreen by wearing a hat, and wearing clothing.
- Wear sun glasses that are certified to protect against UV to protect your eyes
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration
- Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day as UV rays can still penetrate
- If you decide to snorkel wear a t-shirt to give some additional protection to your back. Remember UV rays can still penetrate clothing and water can reflect it. We recommend you use a water proof and a high SPF sunscreen.
Remember prevention is better than treatment so try to avoid getting burnt.
Sunburn is when the skin over heats and gets damaged and becomes sore. The skin becomes pink and after a few hours may blister and start to peel.
- Have a cool shower or sponge water on the affected areas
- If the burn is very mild apply moisturiser or an aftersun cream
- Painkillers may provide some relief
If the burn is serious or if a baby or a child has been affected seek medical advice from a doctor or from a hospital. Any additional symptoms such as dizziness or suffering from sickness may be as a result of sunstroke. This requires immediate attention of a doctor.
Malaria is an infectious disease and is transmitted to humans from the bite of infected mosquitoes. It is common in tropical and subtropical regions. It is a serious illness which can lead to complications and can be fatal.
Symptoms of malaria can include those that resemble flu (e.g. high fever), diarrhoea, vomiting and severe headaches.
- If you are visiting a malarial region, seek medical advice in good time about the type of tablets you should take Contact your doctor or your pharmacist and tell them which areas you are visiting. Malaria parasites are resistant to different types of malaria tablet in different countries, so you need to be sure you’re taking the right ones
- You ask your doctor when you should start taking the medication and how long you should take it for. It is essential that you complete the course of tablets. Anti-malaria tablets are normally taken before you depart, during your holiday and for a while when you return.
- You do not forget to inform your doctor or the pharmacist if you are taking any other medication
- You try to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent. Repellent containing DEET is particularly effective. See Insect repellents section
- You Keep your arms and legs covered after sunset
- The area where you are sleeping is properly screened and air conditioned if possible. Use an effective spray to kill any mosquitoes
- Sleep under an insecticide impregnated mosquito net
Please note: these measures do not offer total protection.
If you develop a fever or feel ill whilst abroad you should consult a doctor. If you develop malarial symptoms up to one year after leaving a malarial region, you should seek medical attention and tell the doctor you have been to country where malaria is a risk.
The World Health Organisation: recommendation is for pregnant women not to travel to infectious areas.
Insect bites can be a nuisance- they are painful and look unpleasant. However, some carry infectious diseases, especially in tropical climates. There are many products available to prevent insect bites.
Insect repellents are applied to the skin, and mask human scent, or contain a scent that deters insects. A common ingredient in repellent is DEET, which protects against mosquito bites and tick bites.
Insect repellents can come in various forms, including lotions, sprays and aerosols. Plug in repellents are also available, which fit into plug sockets.
In conjunction with repellents, the following precautions can be taken:
- Cover the ankles and arms between dusk and dawn
- Make sure you sleep in rooms that have screens across doors and windows
- Sleeping under a net can also reduce the risk of bites.
Visit your GP as soon as possible to check if you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures (such as malaria tablets) and check the risk of disease in the country you are planning to visit.
Vaccination is a highly effective method of preventing certain infectious disease, however please be aware they do not protect you completely. It is not a substitute for avoiding potentially contaminated food and water and following food safety advice.
It is important to contact your GP early on as the protective effects may take some time to develop.
The type of vaccine that you may require depends on several factors including your chosen destination, your immunisation history, duration and method of travelling.
When travelling abroad, food and water can present problems, especially in less developed countries. When travelling abroad with children, extra care should be taken
- Make sure the water you drink is from a reputable bottled source, with the seal unbroken
- Avoid ice in drinks, and boil water if you are unsure of its origin
- Drink canned beverages, or drinks made from boiled water
- Avoid salads, raw vegetables and fruit that you cannot peel
- Eat hot food-lukewarm buffets can be risky as food can be exposed for long periods of time
- Avoid ice cream from non-reputable sources, including mobile ice cream vendors
- Make sure plates and cutlery are clean
- When brushing your teeth or washing any fruit or salads use bottled water.
Travelling to Europe?
We advise you to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
What is an EHIC?
EHIC will allow you to have access to healthcare to any country that is part of the European Economic Area. It allows you to reduce or free State provided healthcare.
It is free to get one and is valid for up to 5 years. All UK travellers going to Europe must have one.
For more information ring 0845 605 0707 for EHIC queries or click on this link to apply:
Please note: this is not the same as travel insurance as it does not cover private medical treatment, any issues with airlines including lost/stolen property or repatriation to the UK.
If you are planning to travel to Europe or further a field then we suggest you consider taking out travel insurance to cover any unexpected incidences. If you have any medical conditions ensure the insurance covers them.
Visit NHS Choice website for more information
Is available from the following:
- NHS Direct:Travel advice and information, including details of other health services are available round the clock from NHS direct You can use:
- Foreign & Commonwealth Office:
- Read their country travel advice pages for detailed, up to date advice for every country in the world.
- Travel Advice Help Line: Phone: 0845 850 2829 (24hrs, 7 Days a week) (BT - 4p per min. Other networks vary)
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