Expert Pharmacist Karen Baker reveals top tips for staying healthy and safe this summer

With summer underway and travelling abroad reverting back to its pre-pandemic popularity, many of the nation will be heading off overseas to enjoy a summer holiday. But, if you’ve not taken a trip abroad in a couple of years, you may need a refresher on how to stay safe whilst travelling.

So, as the temperatures heat up, we sat down with our expert Pharmacist, Karen Baker, to uncover the top six tips you should know before traveling abroad and everything you need to know about staying safe during the summer months.

1. What key items would you pack in your bag?

Karen Baker, Care’s expert pharmacist comments: “It will depend on your needs and that of your family, but I would always include paracetamol and/or ibuprofen (for any pain), and an antihistamine tablet (for bites and allergic reactions).

Karen continues: “Plasters and antiseptic are always in my case too, along with travel sickness medication and insect repellent. Obviously sufficient prescription medication for your trip plus a few days extra are essential.”

If you’re looking for effective pain relief, Care Ibuprofen 200mg Coated Tablets[1] provides relief from headaches, rheumatic and muscular pain, backache, feverishness, migraine, period pain, dental pain and neuralgia and cold and flu symptoms.

Karen continues: “Take a copy of your repeat slip with all your listed prescription medication in case you need it. Be prepared in case you have a flare-up of any chronic medical condition, as the change to your normal routine may adversely affect your health. For example, take a new inhaler with you if you use them, especially if it is one that doesn’t have a counter on it, so you know you have enough to cover your holiday. Carry your medication (unless liquids) in your hand luggage, so you know you will still have it if your luggage goes missing.”

2. What top tips do you have for sun safety? 

Karen advises: “Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm and limit the time you are in direct sunshine. Remember that you can still burn on a cloudy day, so don’t assume you don’t need suncream if the sun isn’t out. Re-apply suncream every 2 hours, and after each time you have been in the water or towelled dry, as this reduces the effectiveness of it.

“Apply plenty of suncream – enough to fill a shot glass to cover your body is the right amount. Most people don’t apply enough or at the right frequency. Sunscreen typically has a shelf life of 6-12 months, so it’s important that people remember to replace sunscreen every year as the SPF efficacy can drastically reduce over time.

“For anyone experiencing sunburn whilst on holiday, I’d suggest cooling the skin by having a cool shower or bath, sponging the burn with cold water, or by covering the affected area with a cold flannel. It’s crucial for anyone with sunburn to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and if the area is painful, take painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, whilst also trying to avoid the affected area being exposed to sunlight until it has fully healed.”

3. What would you pack to help with sun protection and sun burn?

“Plenty of sunscreen of at least SPF15, or SPF30 if it is a hot holiday – I’d recommend those which protect against UVA and UVB too. A good pair of sunglasses and a hat are also necessary. After sun and calamine cream or lotion are good for skin that has been in the sun or has burnt”, explains Karen.

If you’re looking to treat mild sunburn this summer reach for Care Aqueous Calamine Cream.[2]

4. What key advice would you give for people travelling to a new country?

“I’d recommend researching your destination pre travel on which has foreign travel advice for every country. It will tell you about the country and it even has a section on health advice. You’ll find that the site also includes a link to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) which is an excellent website giving all the information you would need for a new country, from if you can drink the water, to which diseases you need to be aware of and malaria prevention advice.

“Traveller’s diarrhoea is more common in developing countries but can also happen in low-risk areas, so it’s important to do your research beforehand and know whether the water is safe for drinking, avoid ice in drinking water or eating unwashed salad or fruit for example if in doubt.

“To treat any upset stomachs, I’d suggest taking a form of oral rehydration treatment with you, either prevent dehydration. It is also useful to have loperamide to stop the symptoms, especially if you are travelling. If the diarrhoea is persistent or bloody, you should see your GP when you get back home.”

Whilst travelling, it might be that you’re finding it difficult to pass stools, and so, you may be suffering with constipation. If this is the case, drink water and add more fibrous food to your diet, such as leafy greens and pulses to aid movement in your gut.”

If you’re looking for a herbal medicine to treat stomach troubles and the occasional relief of constipation, reach for Care Senna Tablets[3].

5. Where should I go to check if I need any travel vaccinations? 

Karen suggests: “You can ask at your local pharmacy about travel vaccinations or look on the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) website. But do this at least 8 weeks before you travel, as it can take time to arrange vaccinations, and for them to be sufficiently effective before you leave. Some pharmacies offer travel vaccinations, or you may need to go to a specialist clinic.

6. As a pharmacist, are there any other travel hacks you’d advise? 

Karen concludes: “An ounce of prevention is better than your holiday being ruined, so take the time to think about how your health could be affected by the holiday before you go away. Always take out adequate travel health insurance, and if travelling in the EU have a Global Health Insurance Card as well.

If you’re heading off on holiday this year, Care is there for you. With over 60 tried and trusted remedies, Care provides a range of accessible, quality, and affordable remedies for minor health and skincare concerns to help keep you happy and healthy this summer.

[1] Care Ibuprofen 200mg Coated Tablets. Contains ibuprofen. For headaches, rheumatic and muscular pain, backache, feverishness, migraine, period pain, dental pain and neuralgia, even cold and flu symptoms. Always read the label.

[2] Care Aqueous Calamine Cream BP. For relief of the symptoms of mild sunburn and other minor skin conditions. Contains Calamine 4.0% w/w and Zinc Oxide 3.0% w/w. Always read the label.

[3] Care Senna 7.5mg Tablets 12 Years Plus. A herbal medicinal product used for the short term relief of occasional constipation for ages 12+ . Contains

This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding your own or your family’s health.


Share the love