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Keeping Holiday Illnesses at Bay – Top 10 Tips

Most of us have experienced that gnawing feeling in the pit of our stomach while on holiday which is often the first sign we are in for a night on the loo.

Holiday illness wrecks not only your holiday but can also wreck your health. Gastroenteritis, sunstroke, malaria and even holiday accidents can all occur easily if you do not take enough notice of what you eat and drink.

Alcohol intake can mean the difference between a healthy holiday and becoming dehydrated or suffering injury from a fall from height or a slip or trip.

Eating from street vendors or eating undercooked or badly stored food at the hotel’s all inclusive buffet can leave holidaymakers with a very serious bacterial infection causing fever, headache, violent sickness and diarrhoea and dehydration which may require hospital treatment.

Stay healthy on holiday this summer with a few top tips, which won’t spoil your holiday fun too much – and may just save your holiday.

10 Top Tips Holiday Illness

Drink sparingly on flights as altitude can mean the effects of alcohol are more pronounced and also increase the risk of dehydration. Knock back bottled water mid-air and keep tabs on how much you drink at your resort – especially in the sun. More young holidaymakers are having serious holiday accidents after consuming too much alcohol, so remember getting plastered may mean you also return home in plaster.

Bottled water should be your constant holiday companion, especially in hot countries where you may need to drink as much as two litres or more daily to rehydrate. Only drink from sealed bottles and never from a communal drinking jug or fountain, which may harbour bacteria.

Holiday food is another danger when it comes to holiday health and eating from street vendors or the all-inclusive holiday buffet or hotel BBQ are often the quickest way of getting a bout of holiday sickness and diarrhoea. Only eat hot food which is hot and chilled food which is chilled – never food which is undercooked or badly stored.

Deep vein thrombosis is a potentially life threatening condition and even very young adults can develop a blood clot, so keep moving on board flights to and from your holiday destination – and flex your ankles when in your seat. If you are in cramped flight conditions, make sure you walk up and down the aisle regularly, especially on long haul flights.

It's always so tempting to jump straight into the pool at the hotel, but you should be aware that there can be nasty bugs in the pool if it hasn’t been cleaned properly. These bacterial and parasitic infections such as Cryptosporidium can cause you to become severely ill whilst abroad.

Lying in the sun is the biggest attraction of a summer holiday, but spend as much time as possible in the shade and use high factor sun cream. You will still get a tan – especially if you lie round the pool, as the sun’s UV rays bounce of water. But don’t return home badly sunburned as the risk of melanoma can be very real even in young adults.

Many holidaymakers skip their travel vaccinations, but live to regret it when they contract a serious illness or do not bother to take malaria tablets. Make enquiries from your tour operator as soon as you think about a holiday destination and see your GP practitioner nurse or local travel centre for advice on when you need to have travel vaccinations.

Dated: 03/08/2012

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