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Home » News and events » Campaigns » Summer health

Summer health

Summer has finally arrived, but it can bring with it different health problems which might affect you or your family. BUT we have all it all covered in our little guide to summer health!
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Heatwave and very hot weather

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling

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It's always important to keep hydrated but during hot weather so you don't get dehydrated it's even more important to drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a health condition such as diabetes. 

Did you know? Drinking UK tap water is a great way to keep you hydrated. Fill a cup or glass and enjoy.

Sun safety 

We all know sunscreen is important but using the right one can be a little confusing. The NHS' general advice is a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB and at least four-star UVA protection. As well as bottles and sprays you can also get it in a roll-on format. Of course the best protection from the sun is staying out of the sun at the hottest parts of the day. More tips and advice on sun safety.

Did you know? Even on cloudy or overcast days your skin can still burn. Stay safe by following the advice on sun safety.

Hay fever

Hay fever can be miserable for so many people as the different blossoms and allergies run through the whole summer. There's lot of different medications available, most of which are available to buy from your local pharmacy. We spent £460,000 last year paying for antihistamine and nasal sprays medications on prescription, so if you can, please buy your own. Antihistamines can cost as little as 79p and nasal sprays as little as £1.85. More help on treating hay fever.

Travel sickness

Wherever you're heading off to this summer, if you get travel sickness it can make the experience pretty unpleasant. But anti-sickness treatments and medications are available from your local pharmacy, so pop in and ask for some help on getting the right treatment for you. 

Travel vaccinations and medications

If you're off on holiday to a country where you think vaccinations are required or there might be a malaria risk, then check before you travel. You can arrange vaccinations required at your GP practice. 
If you need  antimalarial medication, you can buy over the counter at a pharmacy.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you're travelling to European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland this summer then make sure you have an EHIC and that it's not expired. This is free and you never need to pay for one of these cards. You can apply for an EHIC online.

Bugs and bites

Like suncreen and sand, insect and bites are a pretty unpleasant part of summer. Most insect bites and stings are not serious and will get better within a few hours or days. There's lots of help available here and you can also buy creams for itching and antihistamines from your pharmacy to have at home in case you need them.