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Going away on holiday is exciting, but it’s important that you pack a basic kit to ensure that you will have the tools to keep your family happy and healthy during your time away.

If you are off to hotter climes, sunscreen is a must. Opt for a broad-spectrum product of at least SPF15, and much higher if you intend to use it on young children. Remember to check the expiry date of any products you have left over from previous holidays, as their effectiveness does wear off over time.

It makes good sense to take some first aid essentials with you when you travel, as depending on your destination, you may not be able to source these locally. Recommended items include antiseptic cream or wipes, gauze, dressings, plasters, tweezers, safety pins, scissors, tweezers and a tick remover.

Something that really can spoil a holiday is the presence of mosquitoes. They usually attack between sunset and dawn and are attracted by our smell and body heat. Ensure you pack a roll-on, spray or cream product containing DEET, which has been proven to repel mosquitoes. If you are travelling to a region affected by malaria, it is recommended that you speak to a travel health advisor or your GP to get the latest protocols. These protocols do vary from country to country - malaria is not a one-size-fits-all disease.

If you are intending to stay in a malarial country, you must also have a top-quality mosquito net to cover your bed. The best ones are pre-impregnated with a substance called permethrin, which will kill any insects that land on the net. Remember to top up the levels of permethrin every six months to ensure that it remains effective.

It’s not uncommon to experience an allergic reaction when in an unfamiliar environment, so stock up with anti-histamines before you travel. These come in creams, nasal spray and tablets - so you can select the best option according to personal preference.

It’s an unfortunate fact that upset tummies can be part and parcel of a trip abroad. It is therefore common sense to pack some anti-diarrhoea medicine just in case. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you, and do bear in mind that there are a number of counter-indications of this type of drug that relate to several common medical conditions. In a similar vein, you should include some rehydration sachets in your holiday first aid kit. These help to replace lost salts and fluids.

If you are travelling well off the beaten track ,you should consider adding an emergency kit to your medical items, including sealed and sterilised syringes plus needles and sutures. These can be offered to any dentists or doctors from whom you seek treatment in developing countries to avoid the risk of infection.

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