Accidents and illness can happen anywhere but can be more complicated when away from your home environment. A few basic precautions and advanced packing can make a major difference should things go awry, writes Emma Hammett of First Aid for Life.
When travelling abroad always ensure you know how to contact the emergency services. Throughout the EU the number is 112, outside Europe 112 is worth a try as it will eventually become the world wide emergency number. However it is always best to look it up either from a guidebook or on Google.
Research in advance about specific dangers in the areas you are visiting learn how particular stings, bites, illnesses or reactions should be treated if affected.
If flying with little ones; small sachets of Calpol or Neurofen can be extremely helpful to soothe them if the air pressure hurts their ears. Chewing or sipping water whilst taking off can also help to relieve the pressure. Pack toys and books to keep them occupied during the journey and a special toy or blanket to encourage them to sleep. Snacks are also helpful in case they won’t eat the food on the plane.
In hot climates dress in suitable clothing to allow your body to breathe in humid conditions and ensure you and your family have appropriate footwear that is comfortable and covers your toes. Wounds often take longer to heal and can become infected in high humidity – ensure that any injury is cleaned thoroughly and apply a sterile breathable dressing. If bitten or licked by an animal it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible and receive prompt anti-rabies treatment.
Keeping everyone well hydrated is vitally important in hot climates and little ones in particular need regular encouragement to drink. Water and milk taste different in other countries so adding some syrup or additional flavouring that they enjoy may make it more palatable for them
Treat the sun with respect; cover up with hats, sun glasses and sun cream, drink plenty and keep out of the midday sun. If you are swimming or sailing remember that reflections from water increase the potency of the sun and regularly apply additional sunscreen accordingly. If someone shows signs of heat exhaustion; flushed, sweaty, stomach cramps, headaches …encourage them to sit in the shade and drink to replace their fluids.
Think ahead. Take water and snacks with you so that children remain well fed and hydrated on your days out. A miserable child can quickly spoil things for everyone.
Always travel with toilet roll, tissues, hand sanitizer and a compact, sensible first aid kit, Add additional first aid items relevant to your trip and attend a first aid course tailored to the particular needs of your holiday and family.
First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical first aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.
First Aid for Life offers customised first aid courses tailored for specific activities and destinations, suitable for families and for teenagers and young people embarking on their GAP year. For more information, please click HERE.
Emma Hammett of First Aid for Life.
This blog first appeared on the First Aid for Life website and is reproduced here with kind permission of the author.