Guest Post: Avoid disaster on winter holidays

Avoid disaster on winter holidays
Christmas and the New Year are perfect times for a winter holiday, whether hitting the slopes for a ski break or jetting off to the beach. Your family’s safety is all-important whilst on holiday, and although nearly everyone will take out travel insurance beforehand, this is really the least you should be doing in preventing holiday illness or having to make a holiday accident claim whilst abroad.
Food poisoning on holiday can have family members laid up in bed for the week instead of showing off skiing techniques or relaxing on a beach. It may be possible to prevent food poisoning and similar sicknesses by sticking to a few simple guidelines. Many far-flung destinations have unsafe tap water, so avoid this and instead stick with bottled water. Avoid salad and raw vegetables which will often have been washed in tap water and instead choose only cooked food which is steaming hot when served. In developing countries it is also wise to avoid raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, as well as unpasteurized milk products and soft cheeses.
Having an accident whilst on holiday can have severe consequences, especially if this involves continued treatment once you return home. Many parents will be planning on taking their kids skiing over the Christmas holidays, and whilst this can be a fun family holiday, accidents can easily occur. Even families who ski every year should take a lesson on their first day to re-introduce them to the slopes – this is especially important for kids, who may easily have forgotten techniques. Taking it easy is also important, so make sure you take a rest day during your holiday. Research has found that after 3pm on the third day of a ski holiday is the most common time for accidents. So, designate your third holiday day to do some relaxing activities with your partner and kids.
Being prepared prior to departure is also important. Make sure any necessary vaccinations are kept up to date by visiting your doctor well in advance of your trip: some jabs need to be given in installments. Stock up on medicine to take with you too, as you may experience difficulties in some countries getting items which are easy to come by in the UK. Encourage safe hygiene practices amongst your kids, and equip them all with a mini bottle of hand sanitiser. This is perhaps the simplest and most effective way of preventing infection and keeping hands clean.
Medical care is of exceptional quality in many holiday destinations and often a doctor or emergency treatment is within easy reach. However, even when treatment and care are excellent, an accident or sickness for one family member can easily ruin a holiday for all. Make preparations beforehand and be sure to follow simple steps to ensure the safety and good health of everyone on your winter holiday this year.