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Seven Steps To Stay Well This Bank Holiday

22 August 2017

With the Bank Holiday just around the corner, people across South Cheshire and Vale Royal are being urged to stay well and be prepared.

The NHS South Cheshire and Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) want us to make the most of the long weekend by knowing what to do if we pick up a minor illness or injury, getting the right care sooner and not having to wait in queues or for appointments we don’t really need.

After sharing the Seven Steps to Self-Care at Easter, the CCGs have put together more advice to make sure we’re prepared for the Bank Holiday and beyond.

Step 1 – Cuts and grazes

You need to clean the wound and cover it with a plaster or dressing:
- To stop bleeding, apply pressure with a bandage or towel and raise the part of the body
- If you’re treating someone else, wash and dry your hands, then clean the wound with running water
- Dry the wound and apply a waterproof plaster
- Don’t use antiseptic cream as it may slow down the healing process.  
- Paracetamol or Ibuprofen should help ease any pain

Step 2 – Sprains and Strains

If you or your child has a strain or sprain, think PRICE:
- Protect the injury by 
- Resting the area for at least 48 hours
- Ice packs should be used on the first day of getting the injury for 20 minutes, up to eight times
- Compress with a bandage 
- Elevating the injury for an hour or so will also help the recovery and decrease the swelling

Step 3 – Insect Stings

Although they may be itchy and painful for a few days, most stings are harmless.
- Carefully remove the sting
- Wash the area with soap and water
- Cool the affected area down with a cold flannel, or an ice pack
- Raise the wound up to stop swelling
- Avoid scratching the area as it may get infected
- Antihistamine tablets, sprays or creams can also help ease symptoms.

Step 4 – Hay fever

One in five people are affected by this common allergic reaction at some point in their lives.
- Use over-the-counter medication like antihistamines when you first notice symptoms, or the pollen count is forecast to be high
- Decongestant nasal sprays will help clear a blocked nose
- Eye drops will help ease red, itchy and watery eyes
- Your local pharmacist will be able to help

Step 5 – Sun Burn and Prickly Heat

Prevention is always better than cure, so slap on the sun cream, even if it’s overcast.

If you do still get burned:
- Cool the skin with lukewarm water, the best way is in a cool bath or shower
- Get rehydrated, drink plenty of fluids
- Aftersun cream will cool the skin, and also moisturize it and relieve any tightness
- Paracetamol or Ibuprofen should help easy any pain.

Prickly heat is usually caused when we sweat more than usual:
- Stay in the shade
- Wear loose, cotton clothing
- Calamine location will soothe the affected area

Step 6 – Sickness and Diarrhoea

Most sickness and diarrhoea will usually clear up, without treatment, after a few days.

There are a few things you can do to ease the symptoms:
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Frequent small sips of water is usually the best
- A pharmacist may suggest an oral rehydration solution
- You should try and eat something small and light when you feel able to
- Antidiarrhoeal medicines are available, but not usually necessary

Step 7 – Know where to get further advice

If you’ve followed the above steps but symptoms are continuing or getting worse, then get further medical advice:
- Get advice on non-urgent medical problems by calling NHS111, which is open 24/7 and free from any mobile or landline
- Local pharmacies are available, free of charge and without an appointment, to give advice on minor conditions and the best over-the-counter medications.

You can see which pharmacies are open in South Cheshire on Bank Holiday Monday by clicking here and which pharmacies are open in Vale Royal by clicking here

There is also useful information on symptoms and treatments on the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk