Anyone who has ever been on holiday and spent it in their room with a stomach upset or summer cold will most likely wish they had bothered to put together a few holiday essentials in case they fell ill.
Even a blister or aching tooth can completely wreck a holiday – and having a few over-the-counter medicines and remedies to hand could help turn a holiday pain into a panacea.
Staying at resorts in less developed holiday destinations – and at hotels or cruise ships with a high turnover of holidaymakers or groups in close proximity to each other – means that germs can spread quickly and bacterial infections like salmonella can take hold and spread throughout a hotel complex.
Serious illness and infections always need medical help as antibiotics will be needed to clear the infection. Similarly, conditions like an abscess under a tooth or a chest infection will also need antibiotics.
But to cure everyday ills, here are just ten items to pack into your holiday First Aid kit:
- Antiseptic lotion or cream
- Bandage and safety pins – in case of sprains
- Cold cure – capsules or powders
- Domperidone tablets to stop sickness and vomiting
- Loperamide capsules or tablets for diarrhoea
- Painkillers – paracetamol, or aspirin/ibuprofen for inflammatory pain
- Plasters and blister plasters
- Throat sweets – also good for sucking on take off and landing
Try and find products which serve many purposes eg liquid antiseptic like TCP comes in liquid or cream, but as liquid can be used as an antiseptic for cuts bruises and blisters, as well as a gargle for sore throats, or even to help toothache if a tooth is infected. Always use TCP diluted according to the instructions.
You could also pack a small dental kit for repairing crowns or lost fillings temporarily – these cost around £5 and most pharmacies and chemists sell them. Always pack your First Aid kit in the hold, as it contains sharp instruments.
The most important thing to consider is that an illness or accident can seriously ruin your holiday, not just for the person injured but for the rest of the family or group that you travel with.
If you are in pain, see a doctor or dentist in resort – the EHIC entitles EU citizens to healthcare in member states, so apply for yours before you head off on holiday in Europe – and make sure you also have sufficient insurance when travelling.
Claiming compensation for an injury that has ocurred on holiday is simple when you know how.