Whether you’re jetting off somewhere exotic, or you’re taking a “staycation” here in the UK, one of the things you don’t want to be bringing back from holiday with you is a strain, fracture or other injury.
It is surprisingly easy to get injured while on holiday – as evidenced by the fact that we see an upsurge in patient numbers coming back from their Summer holiday with some form of injury.
Without wishing to put a dampener on your holiday planning, it is good to be aware of some of the most common causes of injury so you can make sure you avoid them.
Here is our top five list of injuries to avoid:
1. Activity Injuries
The sun is shining, you are relaxed, you are on holiday… And you choose to try your hand at one of the many different activities that are on offer in the holiday resort. From paragliding to scuba diving to water sports or beach football, there is plenty of choice and plenty of ways that you can injure yourself if you are not vigilant.
Common injuries include sprains and fractures.
It’s worth remembering some of these safety tips to protect yourself from getting hurt:
- Take the same care as you would at home. Run through safety checks. Be sure you know what to do if something goes wrong.
- If you are engaging in a sporting activity like wakeboarding or jet skiing be sure to warm up thoroughly beforehand with stretches and a warm up routine.
- Take water with you to avoid dehydration and use suncream.
- If you are unfit, don’t push yourself too hard.
2. Amusement Park Injuries
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions offers the following advice to avoid injury on rides:
- Abide by height, weight and health restrictions.
- Read the safety rules before getting onto the ride.
- Always stay in your seat and never dangle feet or hands outside the ride.
- Use any seatbelts or bars that are provided.
- Do not get on a ride if you have been drinking heavily.
- Make sure your possessions are secure.
- If you are with children, ensure they are properly secured.
3. Trampoline Injuries
We regularly see people with fractured bones and sprained ligaments as a result of trampolining. Follow these simple safety guidelines when using a trampoline:
- Only one person at a time should be on the trampoline.
- Make sure the trampoline has been well maintained. Check for signs of damage to the springs, mats, net or padding.
- Do not attempt anything like a somersault without the proper supervision.
- Make sure the trampoline is on an even surface that is relatively soft, such as a lawn.
4. Luggage Injuries
Most of us pack far too much to take on holiday with us and often we end up bringing even more back. Hours spent manhandling our over-heavy luggage can put a strain on our backs, necks and arms. Always remember to:
- Bend your knees when lifting and lift with your leg muscles.
- Use a lightweight suitcase with wheels and a handle to pull it along.
- Try not to take too much in your bag.
- Don’t stretch your arms out when lifting luggage.
5. Swimming Injuries
Children and adults can very easily get into difficulties in the water. To prevent injuries from occurring:
- Always watch your children while they are in the water. Only swim on life guarded beaches and observe the signs.
- Never dive into shallow water or jump into dark water where you can’t see what is beneath the surface.
- Don’t swim if the weather turns stormy.
- Don’t wear headphones on the beach. You need to be able to listen out for trouble.
Seek prompt help if you do get injured
Apart from taking preventative methods to not get hurt whilst on holiday, if you are unfortunate and endure an injury, it is important to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Continuing to walk around with fractures, tears and strains can just make the recovery process longer and can cause more damage to your body.
If you are travelling overseas you should always ensure you have the correct travel insurance cover to protect you and your family so you can seek the right treatment whilst still away from home.
However, if you return from holiday and your injury is not improving, you can go to your local doctor, or in the case of strains and sprains to muscles and bones, you can visit a specialist orthopaedic consultant who will be able to diagnosis the severity of your injury and suggest the best form of treatment.