'Holiday Healthcare' campaign launched

Holidaymakers reminded about essentials
  • Deborah Condon

A new campaign has been launched by local pharmacies to ensure that people do not forget any essential healthcare items when they go on holiday.

The ‘Holiday Healthcare' campaign has been launched by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) and it provides holidaymakers with a useful checklist to remind them of the essentials they may need to bring.

"It is easy to get caught up in the flurry of preparing for your holiday and forget the essentials. That is why the IPU has designed a handy checklist, so you don't forget anything important. Your local pharmacy is your one-stop-shop for the checklist, the products, and most importantly, the professional advice you need for a worry-free summer holiday," commented IPU executive committee member, Ann-Marie Horan.

She reminded people that the most important thing they need to remember is essential medicines.

"You should bring at least enough for the duration of your trip and always bring a copy of your prescription in case you need something while away. Be aware of the storage conditions of your medications as some will need to be refrigerated. Discuss this with your pharmacist who will advise you how best to transport and store these medications," Ms Horan said.

She pointed out that some people may find it difficult to communicate with pharmacists abroad due to language barriers, so she advised bringing a supply of common medicines, such as pain relievers and antihistamines.

She also reminded people that there are many other important health-related items that may need to be considered, such as sunscreen and insect repellant.

The checklist is available in your local pharmacy and the IPU also offers the following tips for a safe and enjoyable holiday:

-Medication: Make sure to bring an adequate supply of your prescription medication on holidays with you. Always carry some medication in your hand luggage in case your checked-in luggage is delayed or goes missing

-Sun protection: In warmer climates, stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm. Protect yourself with sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF) with UVA protection, along with a hat, sunglasses and t-shirt. Apply a complete sun block to children and reapply frequently, especially after swimming

-Sunburn: If you experience sunburn, stay out of the sun for a few days until the sunburn dies down and drink plenty of water. Ask your pharmacist about appropriate creams and painkillers to relieve symptoms and bring down a temperature. Severe cases of sunburn may require special burn cream and burn dressings. If you have severe sunburn with headaches, nausea, vomiting or dizziness, see a doctor

-Alcohol and the sun: Be careful when drinking alcohol in hot weather as it can cause dehydration. Avoid swimming or engaging in sporting activities if you have consumed alcohol

-Stomach upsets: If barbequing or eating foods you are not used to, make sure the food is fully cooked all the way through and always keep cooked food separate from raw food. This will help avoid food poisoning. If you do suffer diarrhoea, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Ask your pharmacist for advice on which non-prescription medicines you can bring with you on holidays so you can treat the condition immediately

-Insect bites: Bring insect repellent to protect from insect bites. If you get bitten, wash the area with soap and water, and apply a cool compress or calamine lotion to help cool down the affected area, and apply some antiseptic cream to avoid infection. If you suffer a severe allergic reaction to a bite, seek medical assistance immediately.


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