K to O of Holiday Health

A - Z of Holiday Health - K - O

Below are some bite sized bits of information to helping you prepare for a happy, healthy and safe holiday.

K - Kit (First Aid)

Taking a first aid kit with you on holiday is essential. Not only will you need to take general first aid essentials but also any specific medication you or someone in your party may need.

Before packing your kit think about ...

  • ... the number of people in your party - what quantities you should take.
  • ... will you be skiing or hiking or sunbathing?
  • ... how far will you be from doctors and pharmacies?
  • ... will there be children or older people travelling with you? They may have particular health needs

What to pack? We have listed the basics below

  • analgesics such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • antacids (eg milk-of-magnesia), for tummy troubles, laxatives for constipation and a product like immodium for diarrhoea
  • mosquito repellent and anti-histamines for allergies and insect bites
  • for cuts and bruises: sticking plasters, antiseptic ointment, gauze, non-stick bandages, cotton wool and tape. Moleskin for blisters (or a pack of Compeed, which is widely available from chemists)
  • simple eyewash for dusty, irritated eyes
  • scissors, tweezers
  • water chlorinating tablets

L - Libidos

A combination of the relaxed atmosphere, sun, stress free and an increase in your mercury levels can increase your libido. So if an addition to the family is on the list then make the most of your holiady with romantic candle lit dinners or sunset walks to ease you gently into the mood.

M - Migraines

Migraine is a severe type of headache that often affects one side of the head and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or an increased sensitivity to light.

Mild migraine attacks tend to clear up in a few hours. but more severe attacks can last for up to 72 hours. To help relieve the symptons it is best to rest in a dark, quiet room and take simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Soluble versions of these may work better than tablets but if you are prone to more severe attacks and have seen a doctor previously, remember to take your stronger tablets.

N - Nausea (Travel Sickness)

Travel sickness or nausea can affect many people and can ruin a holiday before its started. It can also be known as motion sickness, seasickness and air sickness. Symptoms include nausea, sickness and dizziness and it is caused when the brain receives mixed messages from the sensory input of the eyes, yet the inner ear balance mechanism is telling the brain a different story.

Treatments for travel sickness include antihistamine drugs containing cinnarizine, or anti-sickness remedies containing hyoscine. Both are available from your local pharmacist but need to be taken before travelling. These are not suitable should you be the driver since they both cause drowsiness. An alternative therapy is to take ginger see under G.

O - Oxygen

If you are embarking on a holiday where you are going on perhaps a trekking holiday, or mountain climing or even skiing in the alps then there is always a risk of altitude sickness. This occurs when we breathe air with a lower O2 content which can lead to dizziness and nausea.

Ways to avoid AMS is to acclimatize your body to the new altitude, so take it slowly.