Latest Blog Posts
Staying safe and healthy on your winter ski getaway
Health and safety is just as important on your winter holiday as it is on your summer trip Holiday health and safety tends to be something people reserve for the summer. Once the days get shorter and the temperature drops, all thoughts of staying safe abroad go out the window. But increasing numbers of us are choosing the spend some time overseas during the colder months, with more than 40 million budding skiers venturing to resorts around the world at this time of year. And while undeniably fun, snow sports and winter getaways can also be the source of several health and safety risks. From high speed activities to remote environments, there are plenty of factors to consider and preparations to be made if you want to enjoy your holiday safely. Luckily, we’re here to take you through them. Make sure you’re all set Snow sports like skiing and boarding might be fun, but they are also demanding. It’s important that when you engage in these sports you aren’t shocking yourself into fitness after a period of lethargy, as this can greatly increase your chance of injury. Introduce a regular fitness regime into your routine before you go to avoid strains and sprains. Practice, practice, practice Heading to the gym is good, but specifically practising the sport you’ll be enjoying abroad is even better. Try to fit in some lessons before you go to help reduce your risk of injury and allow you to feel more confident while away. Get informed As is the case with any holiday, it’s important to do your research beforehand. For winter getaways, not only is it important to research local amenities and transport services, but you also need to explore specific insurance covers and nearby rescue services. Stock up on the right gear It may be a poor workman who blames his tools, but when it comes to sports it’s imperative to have all the necessary equipment. However, don’t feel you need to spend huge amounts for the sake of it. Keep your purchases limited to gear which is going to improve your comfort and safety. Keep one eye on the weather No matter how impressive your resort is, keep in mind that you are still in a mountain environment and therefore need to be aware of both the weather and the climate. If extreme weather conditions are expected, be sure to play it safe and seek shelter. Stay on track Use all the resort information available – that’s what it’s there for. This will keep you informed on all the relevant protocol should something happen. Also, be sure to stick to the track when skiing. Not only will this reduce your chances of experiencing an injury, but if something does happen then it will be a lot easier for someone to spot you and help. Warm up and cool down As is the case with any demanding physical activity, it’s vital that you warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards. This will help to keep you limber and reduce the likelihood of a serious injury occurring. Cover all health bases Look after your health by covering all bases. As well as the usual painkillers, cold medication and first aid kit, you should also remember to bring sunscreen along. Despite the lower temperature, the bright sun reflecting off the snow can cause significant skin damage if you aren’t protected. You should also research whether any vaccinations are required for your destination, as you would with any summer holiday. Doing this will give you peace of mind that you are as prepared as possible before you set off. Make sure you’re all set to enjoy your winter getaway by paying our team a visit at one of our clinics. Alternatively you can call Express Travel Clinic on 0208 993 58 89 or click here to book an appointment.
Your complete guide to meningitis
Meningitis affects more than 2.8 million people globally every year. Understanding the condition is a key step to avoiding it, so here is everything you need to know There’s no denying the severity of meningitis. Across all age groups, the disease is still the world’s 6th largest infectious killer, resulting in nearly 320,000 deaths in 2016 alone. In fact, collectively and meningitis and neonatal sepsis are the second biggest infectious killers of children under 5 globally, and the condition leaves 1 in 5 sufferers with a permanent impairment such as brain injury. No one wants to fall victim to meningitis, but in order to successfully avoid the condition, it’s important to first understand it. If you’re planning on travelling further afield in the coming months, particularly with young children, here’s everything you need to know about the condition. What is meningitis? Meningitis is a very serious infection, damaging the protective membranes that surround the spinal cord and brain – known as the meninges. The infection can affect anyone, but is most common in babies and young children, as well as teenagers and young adults. Without treatment, meningitis can lead to life-threatening blood poisoning known as septicaemia. It can also result in permanent damage to the nerves and brain. What are the symptoms of meningitis? Like many serious infections, symptoms of meningitis can appear suddenly and develop rapidly. They often include: Sickness Headaches A fever and high temperature of 38 degrees centigrade or above Stiffness, particularly in the neck Increased sensitivity to bright lights Seizures and fits Drowsiness Unresponsiveness A blotchy rash may also occur These signs can appear in any order, and it may be that not all of them occur. You should seek medical advice as soon as you feel concerned that you or your child may have meningitis. How does meningitis spread? Meningitis can be contracted in either viral or bacterial form. Often it is spread through sneezing, coughing, kissing and sharing utensils, cutlery and toothbrushes. Often, the disease is caught from people who carry the bacteria in their nose or throat but do not show signs of illness themselves. It can also be caught from someone with meningitis. Certain areas have a higher risk factor when it comes to meningitis, so it’s important to pay attention if you are planning on travelling further afield. These parts of the world include Africa and Saudi Arabia. Outlook and treatment Viral meningitis can often get better on its own, without leaving long term damage. The same is often true of those suffering with bacterial meningitis who are treated quickly. However, if treatment is not administered then long term issues can occur, including hearing or vision loss, memory loss, recurrent seizures, mobility problems and even loss of limbs. Around one in ten cases of bacterial meningitis are fatal. This shows just how necessary effective treatment is, as bacterial meningitis usually needs to be treated in hospital for at least a week. Common treatments include antibiotics administered into a vein, fluids given into a vein and oxygen through a face mask. While viral medication often gets better on its own within 7-10 days, it’s important to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Many people find that painkillers and anti-sickness medication can also help. Avoid the risk of meningitis with a vaccination from Express Travel Clinic Vaccinations offer significant protection against many of the most common causes of meningitis, making them a vital precaution for anyone travelling to higher risk areas. Meningitis vaccinations are available from Express Travel Clinic, and should be given two to three weeks before travel. For adults and children over five, this vaccination provides protection for around 5 years, and provides 2-3 years protection for children under five. For more information on the meningitis vaccination from Express Travel Clinic, click here. Alternatively, call our team today on 0208 993 58 89.