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Travelling can be a daunting experience when you have a medical condition – you’re venturing into the unexpected. The truth is, though, we provide specialist cover for thousands of holidaymakers every year
Ensuring your trip goes without any hassle needn’t be difficult; you just need to plan ahead properly. Preparation is the key wherever you’re going, but it’s particularly important if you’re visiting somewhere with a hot climate, as there are a few things you’ll need to address.
If you’re not used to the heat, you’ll need to watch out for the following:
Sunstroke: This is when a person’s body is no longer able to cool itself (known as heatstroke) due to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Body temperature becomes dangerously high and the effects can take hold in minutes. Symptoms include tiredness, dizziness, fainting, nausea and heavy sweating.
You can help prevent sunstroke by staying in shady areas, enjoying cold food and drinks, and avoiding extreme physical exertion.
Dehydration: This happens when the body loses more fluid than it takes in, usually through sweating. When your body’s water content drops like this, it upsets the balance of minerals and affects the way you function.
Keeping dehydration at bay is simple: you just have to make sure you’re drinking water regularly. Your intake will be higher than you’re used to at home if the weather’s particularly hot, as you’ll likely sweat more.
Insect bites: Insects, like mosquitos, midges and fleas, pose a threat to everyone travelling in hot climates, but they’re a particular concern for those with existing conditions, due to the risk of infection.
Most bites and stings are treated by washing the area with soap and water, and a cold compress can be used to reduce swelling. Tea tree oil is another common remedy, due to its soothing and cleaning qualities. Prevention is difficult, but covering up will certainly help. You can also buy insect repellent from your local chemist.
If you do decide to go somewhere hot this year, the general advice is to just be careful! Take all of the normal precautions – know where the closest pharmacy is, take the right medicine with you and arrange the appropriate travel insurance – and you’ll be just fine!