Overseas Health Advice
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When you travel abroad you remove yourself from your normal eating and sleeping routines which can lead to sickness.  It can take you time to adjust to the food, water and air in the new environment.  But some early planning and smart packing can help you to stay healthy whilst your in resort.

Health advice before you travel to resort

Contraception

Don’t leave things to chance!, make sure you will have access to your preferred method of contraception whilst out in resort.  Talk to your GP or local family planning clinic before you go.

Existing medical problems

if you suffer from any existing medical conditions, make sure you write these down along with the medication you are taking and keep this record on you.  Remember to use the proper names of any medication you use rather than just the trade names.

Prescription medicines

If you are taking any prescription medicines, you will need to ask your GP if you will be able to get them whilst you are in resort.  If you can’t you will need to talk to your GP about prescribing you enough whilst you are away.

You will also need to find out if you would have any restrictions in taking your prescribed drugs in and out of the UK or the country in which you will be working in.  Ask the Home Office Drugs branch on 023 7035 0472 or check the home office website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/drugs/

You may need a letter from your GP or a personal health record card giving details about the prescribed medicine.  Make sure that all your medicines are carried in a correctly labelled container.

Visit the dentist

Although this is not everyone’s favourite place to visit, it is recommended that you pop in and see your dentist before going out to resort.  In some places it can be difficult to get dental treatment when you’re away.

Health advice once in resort

Food & Drink

Lots of holiday reps working overseas get diarrhea from eating and drinking something contaminated.  You can also get diseases like cholera, typhoid and hepatitis A, from contaminated food and water.  To avoid any of these follow these simple rules.

  • Wash hands after going to the toilet and before handling any food or eating
  • If you are not sure if the water is safe to drink, use bottle water or water that has been boiled.
  • Avoid ice unless you know that it has been made from treated water or bottled water
  • Avoid food that has been left out in warm conditions
  • Avoid food that has been exposed to flies
  • Avoid ice cream from unreliable sources such as kiosks or street traders
  • Avoid or boil unpasteurised milk

Road safety

Traffic accidents abroad are the major cause of injuries or deaths amongst people travelling abroad.  Whether your driving or walking make sure you always check your local traffic regulations.  If in a car always wear your seat-belts, if riding a motorbike always wear a crash helmet and protect your arms and legs.

Insect and animal bites

Use insect repellent, and keep your arms and legs covered if there is a chance of getting bitten.  Avoid contact with animals even if they appear tame, as rabies is still prominent in some countries.

Staying safe in the sun

We all know that we should wear sunscreen but not everyone knows the importance of looking after ourselves in the sun.

Not only can the sun give you painful sunburn but it also increases the risk of premature aging and skin cancer!  Remember the sun is extremely strong in many resorts overseas and is best not to underestimate it’s power.

All holiday reps can still have fun in the sun by following the SunSmart code, as recommended by Cancer Research UK:

Stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm

Make sure you never burn

Always cover up

Remember to take extra care with children

Then use factor 15+ sunscreen

Make sure that you protect your eyes with proper UV Filtered sunglasses, although some of the fashion sunglasses may look good they may not be giving your eye the protection they need.

To avoid sunstroke, try not to do anything to energetic during the hottest part of the day between 11am and 3pm, plus make sure that you keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of NON-alcoholic liquids!

Also avoid wearing perfume or aftershave whilst in the sun as certain fragrances can cause photosensitive reactions wherever they are applied to the skin.

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