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Summer home wellbeing

With a few little preparations you can make sure insect bites, hayfever and too much sun don’t spoil your fun family days out.


There are many common summer complaints and ailments that you can resolve by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet or just consulting your local pharmacist. 


Hayfever

How to treat: You can’t cure hayfever but most cases can be relieved with over-the-counter antihistamines.

How to avoid: Try to tackle your hayfever by avoiding going outdoors and keeping windows shut when the pollen count is over 50. Another handy tip for avoiding hayfever is to wear wraparound glasses, wash your face after you’ve been outside, keep your home as dust free as possible, and wash pets more regularly as pollen can be carried inside on the their fur after they have been outside, or limit their time indoors at the worst times. The BBC online weather pages give daily pollen ratings alongside sun strength and weather forecasts.

Insect bites and stings

How to treat: carefully remove the stinger from the skin as soon as possible and wash the affected area with soap and water. Reduce swelling with a cold flannel, rub in a soothing cream suitable for insect bites if needed. If a reaction seems more extreme (feeling sick, dizzy, faint or confused, having diarrhoea or if breathing or swallowing becomes difficult) seek emergency medical help immediately.

How to avoid: when outdoors wear insect repellent and try to keep arms covered and tuck trousers into long socks, especially in woodland. After walks or cycle rides, shake off hats and shirts to remove any bugs. Wear shoes outdoors. Avoid attracting wasps etc by wearing less aromatic scents and covering food outdoors as much as possible.

Mums’ tips: dabbing a little regular malt vinegar on a bee sting can reduce swelling straight away. Why not carry one of those little takeaway sachets in your handbag? Honey or toothpaste can also relieve the irritating sensation, too.
 

Savvy tip

Sporty looking UV-protective beachwear for kids is great but can be expensive. Try customising a new pair of PJs (perhaps ones with a favourite superhero or cartoon character on) into a loose-fitting ‘beach two-piece’.

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Pass it on – don’t forget your summer sun protection routine

Use a minimum SPF15 sunscreen, ideally higher and at least SPF30 for children.

•Choose a sunscreen that protects skin from UVA and UVB rays.

•Top up your sun cream regularly, especially after getting wet or sweaty.

•Avoid being outside in direct sunlight with no shade for longer than 10 minutes at times when the sun is strongest – roughly 11am to 3pm.

•For further sun protection cover up with loose clothing and a hat.

•Make sure babies and children are well covered and keep them out of direct sunlight.

 

IMPORTANT For serious concerns, always contact your GP as soon as possible.

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