Tips for Healthy Happy Summer Holidays By M.D. Thordis Berger
Travellers’ diarrhoea is usually caused by unfamiliar germs, particularly in drinking water. Be cautious about local water and ice. Don't ever drink the local water if it is of suspicious quality and never take anything with ice in it. Replace it with clean water from previously unopened bottles for drinking as well as for cleaning teeth and making ice for drinks. Avoid salads and unpeeled fruits too.
The best way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid sun exposure. Especially between noon and 3pm, UV radiation is very aggressive. Find shade if you need to be outdoors.
Use a minimum of factor 15 sunscreen and apply generously before you go outdoors – and reapply after swimming, even if it’s waterproof.
Seek medical attention if a baby or child has sunburn or if your skin has blistered or you feel dizzy, nauseous or feverish.
3. Insect bites
Whether you're spending your vacation at the beach, at the countryside or in the mountains, it is very probable that you will suffer from some kind of insect bites during the summer. Most bites only cause swelling. But sometimes they can cause an allergic response, become infected if scratched and, in some climates, cause malaria.
Keep skin covered at dawn and dusk, wear light colours as mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothing and don’t use strong-smelling deodorants.
In general, insect bites improve within a day or two. If you start to get flu-like symptoms after you've been bitten, or the soreness starts to spread into general aches and pains you should go to see a doctor.
If breathing difficulties or swallowing occur, call for an ambulance immediately.
4. Food poisoning
Maintaining food at the right temperature prevents food poisoning. If food is not kept at the right temperature, or kept out for prolonged time, there is increased growth of bacteria and food poisoning risks go up. Be wary of salads, seafood and uncovered dishes in all-inclusive buffets. Stick to fresh, thoroughly cooked food – ideally, cooked to order – and fruit that is easily peeled or sliced open, such as bananas and papaya.
5. Heat stroke
The best advice is to gradually build up your tolerance to the sun and don’t exercise when the sun is at its strongest. Avoid direct sunlight during peak hours, stay in the shade, wear a hat and drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Too much sun can cause heat exhaustion (when the body’s core temperature rises up to 40C) and heat stroke (if the temperature exceeds 40C). Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, sweating, confusion, loss of consciousness and rapid breathing. If symptoms don’t improve once you’ve cooled down, seek medical attention.
Changes to your diet and exercise regime can mean a lack of fibre and insufficient gut movement, causing constipation.
Choose fibre-rich food – such as fruit and vegetables and wholegrain bread and drink plenty of water and keep active.
7. Ear infection
A common holiday ear infection is otitis externa, or swimmer’s ear, caused by repeatedly exposing the ear to water. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the water, wear ear plugs or a cap that covers the ears and thoroughly dry your ears after swimming.