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What to do in a holiday emergency

27 March 2012 10:07

Holidays are a time of fun and relaxation - but what should you do if an emergency crops up?

Holidays are a time of fun and relaxation - but what should you do if an emergency crops up?

Holidays should be a time of fun and relaxation - but as we're all too aware, things can go wrong.

Holiday insurance can take care of most problems, but when it comes to emergencies, the British Red Cross feels that people should be prepared for the worst.

Going swimming is one of the more popular holiday pastimes - so it is sensible to be aware of what to do if someone gets into trouble out in the water.

You should remove anyone in difficulty from the water and carry them with their head lower than their chest. Remove any wet clothes, and get them dry and warm as quickly as possible. If they recover, then they still need urgent medical assistance as they could have inhaled water.

Sunbathing also carries a risk of sunstroke. The common symptoms include headache, dizziness, a high pulse and feeling hot and flushed. Casualties have to be taken to a cool place quickly. Pouring cold water over them and wrapping them in wet sheets can also help, although you should make sure that the emergency services have been informed.

Insect bites can be more of an irritation than an immediate danger - but people can suffer allergic reactions, leading to anaphylaxis, if they are bitten or stung.

If stings are visible, scrape it off with fingernails - it is not advisable to use tweezers. Place a cold compress on the wound and, if the sting is on the arm or hand, lift it above the head to reduce swelling. If a person experiences severe swelling or problems breathing, or shows any sign of shock, then you must call for emergency aid.