Tips for Preventing Winter Holiday Accidents, Sickness and Medical Misdiagnosis

paisley winter

With Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport just a short drive from Paisley, the opportunities to grab some last minute winter sun are plentiful! Whatever your reason for travelling abroad, it is important to assess the risk and potential dangers. You may assume that accidents are more likely with more risky types of activities such as sky diving, snowboarding or bungee jumping.  The reality is that often it is just everyday situations which present the most risks, which could not only dampen your holiday experience, but leave you suffering both physically and financially.

And while some accidents cannot be avoided, some simply can. So here’s a quick guide to staying safe and minimising the chances of sickness and medical misdiagnosis on holiday.

Pool Practicalities

The pool is often a central gathering place for holiday makers and a great place to kick back relax and even make new friends.  With UK citizens up to 5.5 times more likely to drown in a pool abroad than in the UK it is important to remain alert at all times.

It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of being on holiday, but it is important to remember to only swim in depths that you are confident in . This is also the case when visiting water parks too. Water parks are a firm family favourite, but there are many pitfalls here too.  Make sure the kids choose slides and rides that are age appropriate. Many countries have different rules to the UK and lifeguards are not always compulsory so you should always make sure you can see your children at all times.

Stay Sober


Many incidents are put down to being under the influence of drink or drugs. You can also reduce the risk of accidents if you are heading to the beach.  Many popular tourist destinations have lifeguards and you should check the flag system and only swim in the flagged areas. However not all beaches have lifeguards so always swim to your strengths and again, never under the influence of drink or drugs.  If you find yourself caught in a rip tide always swim parallel to the shore until you feel you are not being pulled any more. This way you won’t tire yourself out and you should not get swept away. You should then come in with the waves however if you are still having difficulty try and get the attention of the lifeguard or other swimmers.


Report Illnesses


Getting ill on holiday is a common occurrence and many will be struck down by sickness bugs, infections and viruses, which can seriously impact your holiday experience. In most cases, the symptoms and causes are relatively minor and will disappear on their own, but if you notice any strange or worsening symptoms, it is always advisable to visit a local GP or hospital to get checked out. Some more serious conditions can start out with very minor, generalised symptoms and so there is always a risk of medical misdiagnosis, particularly in the early stages. Information on the www.medicalnegligenceassist.co.uk website advises those who are unwell on holiday to closely monitor the situation, keep records of any correspondence, any medical diagnoses and details of any medication prescribed, and to always call for medical assistance if you are at all worried about your symptoms.

Road Safety

Did you know that road traffic accidents are amongst the most popular causes of serious injury or death for holidaymakers? This can be due to vehicles not having seat belts or the same strict guidelines as the UK. Driving on the other side of the road doesn’t help with gaining your bearings on the road’s either!

Always make sure you learn the ways of the road in the country you are visiting to ensure you cross at the right time.  Try and use vehicles that have sufficient safety measures and always make sure you use licensed or public transport.

Accommodation Alert

Although accidents in your booked accommodation would not be the first thing you think of, these are surprisingly common.  Again, many countries have different – or softer – rules than the UK and so smoke detectors, balcony railings or room structures may not be as safe as the UK.

Always know where your fire escapes are and what to do in a fire.  All accommodation should have these details displayed prominently so there really is no excuse not to know what to do.

If you have opted for a campsite holiday, make sure check out the location in advance of your arrival and once there, make a note of where to go in the event of a fire or emergency, as well as where the first aid kit is situated.  It is worth finding out if the site permits open fires too. Also consider what the terrain like where you have pitched. If you have pitched near sharp bushes or a cliff edge you could easily have an accident, especially if under the influence of drink or drugs.  It is always best to pitch at a regulated site to reduce the risk of scrapes and falls.

Excursions and Extreme Sports

Most holidaymakers book excursions or extreme sports through their holiday representative or a reputable company.  However there are many countries where the regulations are not so strict and this is where accidents can occur.

Although most trips will pass without any incidents there are many more that do not.  Always book your trips through a reputable company. There are many online and you can check their feedback by searching for independent reviews.

You should always check that you have sufficient insurance if you are planning to partake in any extreme sports, as if you suffer an injury and did not state this kind of activity would be happening, you may not be able to make a claim.  It is very important to only choose reputable providers of these kind of activities to make sure they have all the right equipment, insurances and training of staff to ensure you have the safest experience possible.

Finally, when holidaying in a hot country, it is important to always stay hydrated, take regular breaks from the hot sun and ensure you regularly apply a high factor sun lotion. Suffering from heatstroke can lead to fainting as well as potential accidents or injuries, which could be prevented by staying aware of your limits when it comes to sun and heat exposure.

Unfortunately nobody can predict when or where sickness or an accident may occur, how bad the accident will be or even the outcome.  Yet we can take measures to prevent them. By taking some of the steps above – and by being extra cautious – some of the most simple accidents can be avoided.