All Set For Summer?

All set for summer?

It’s time to get summer savvy and stock up on self care essentials at your local pharmacy or supermarket.

Summer related minor illness and injuries such as hay fever, bites and stings and travel sickness can all be easily treated with medicines available to buy at low cost from your local pharmacy or supermarket – no GP prescription required.

Summer essentials include:

 Antihistamines or nasal sprays for allergies, hay fever, bites and stings
 Sunscreen at least factor 15
 Diarrhoea and constipation relief medication
Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
 Travel sickness medication

First aid kit

Having these summer essentials at hand will not only save you time, but help save the NHS much needed resources.

For more information about common illnesses and injuries or to find your nearest pharmacy and opening times visit

Advice on travel health including sun safety, vaccinations, DVT and how to apply for your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is available HERE

Before you travel

From travel insurance to vaccinations, here's what to think about before you travel.

Start preparing for your trip, especially long trips, 4 to 6 weeks before you go.

Read the latest health and safety advice for the country you're travelling using:

Find out if you need travel vaccines and make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date - complete the form on the website.

If diseases such as malaria are a risk, you may need to start treatment before travelling.

Prepare a kit of travel essentials, including sunscreen, painkillers, anti-diarrhoea tablets, and antiseptic creams and wipes. 

Consider taking condoms with you to avoid the risk of buying fake, and potentially unsafe, brands when you get there.

Sun protection

When choosing sunscreen, the bottle's label should have:

  • the letters "UVA" in a circular logo and at least 4-star UVA protection
  • at least SPF15 sunscreen to protect against UVB

For more information, read the Sun safety Q&A.

Travel insurance

Whether you're off on a 6-month trek to the Himalayas or a family holiday in Spain, it's vital to have the right travel insurance.

Make sure your policy covers your destination and the duration of your stay, as well as any specific activities you might do.

When travelling in Europe, make sure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

The EHIC will entitle you to free or reduced-cost medical care. However, it won't cover you for everything that travel insurance can, such as emergency travel back to the UK.

Keeping cool this summer

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long there are health risks. If a heatwave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn't harm you or anyone you know.

Tips for coping in hot weather:

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.


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