Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to Prevent Holiday Illnesses

There are many reasons to maintain the gift of a good immune system, ranging from healthy ambition to practicality.

Any traveller would rather avoid the inconvenience of lost days (or sometimes weeks) resulting from preventable illnesses on holiday. For a few unlucky passengers, airlines are known to have refused boarding to those suspected of certain illnesses, particularly contagious diseases.

Awareness of the tips in this article will help travellers stay healthy, plus maximise the holiday enjoyment, and avoid inconveniences.

Starring travel expert Judith Chalmers, the video below features some important medical items to consider when travelling abroad.

Amongst other things, Judith recommends taking:

  • Headache tables – Taking these from the country of departure allows the active ingredients and dosage levels to be clearly stated. (The foreign equivalent may not be available in English).

  • Diarrhoea medicine - Overcomes the infection and restores the body's electrolyte levels when this common holiday blight arises.

  • Insect repellent - Helps stave-off insects which can introduce medical complications.

  • Sun cream - Extends the period of expose to the sun before burning and sun stroke may take effect. Never underestimate the harmful power of the sun.

Significant numbers of travellers succumb to stomach problems while venturing abroad, often due to contact with contaminated food or water sources. This can include swimming pools, tap water, ice cubes and bath water: Anything ingested orally carries a risk of illness if hygiene standards at the holiday location are inadequate.

Follow these tips on how to prevent holiday illnesses:

1. Keep clean!
Hand washing regularly, minimises the spread of bacteria to typical contact points like door handles, tables, taps, buttons and levers. Raising a hand to touch the face is a frequent route which infections can be contracted.

2. Eat fresh!
Avoid buffet food which is kept on hot plates for long periods at warm temperatures, because the chance of exposure to bacteria, spores, and insects increases. Instead, choose freshly cooked meals straight from the kitchen.

3. Beware hidden water...
If a country's water standards are known to be low, be cautious and avoid ingesting it. This extends to ice cubes in cold drinks, washed salads, and swimming in unhygienic pools.

4. Cover up.
Sun cream is only secondary protection, the best method for avoiding sun stroke, sunburn, and possible long term risks, is to monitor the duration spent under the sun's UV exposure. Shade and clothing offer more effective primary protection.

5. Elemental maintenance.
Maintain a good immune system by eating well, getting the vitamins and minerals crucial to its function. Allow enough sleep for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself fully, and steer clear of toxins which attack the immune system, making it less efficient. For example; tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. An individual's wellness determines when different people get exposed to the same bacteria, some get ill, and others do not.

Further Information

  1. Which Holiday Health Advice - Useful selection of holiday health problems and solutions.

  2. Medical Travel Insurance Guide - Excellent advice for those seeking medical cover as part of their holiday insurance.

  3. BBC Guide to Health on Holiday - Covering specific topics which are relevant to health concerns worldwide.

Techonrati tags; medical conditions, holiday health issues, food poisoning.

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