| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Pointed advice

Heading to exotic climes this summer? Before booking the dog into kennels and cancelling the newspapers, verify your family’s vaccinations, says clinical nurse Rachel Jex

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If you’re planning your summer holiday, take note that some nearby hotspots, particularly in Asia and the Indian sub-continent, may require vaccinations before you go. Jabs should be given at least four to six weeks prior to your holiday for optimum uptake so now is the time to get these organised if you want to be fully covered while you’re away.

First things first, though, you need to make sure your kids’ normal childhood immunisations are up to date. Diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) are all recommended by the Dubai Health Authority. Don’t forget your own vaccinations either. Parents are diligent about their kids’ record but often neglect themselves, and who will look after your children if you become ill while you’re away?

Nasty stuff

Pesky mosquitoes have a lot to answer for. Their bites, aside from being itchy and annoying, can also infect you with malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and Japanese B encephalitis. Prevention is better than cure, so try to avoid being bitten by the blighters in the first place by following these tips:

• Mosquitoes often bite in the early evening. Wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts even when sleeping.

• Use an anti-mosquito cream or spray all over (mosquitoes may bite through thin material) and check the repellent is suitable for kids.

• Mozzies hide in curtains and under beds so spray your room with an insecticide in the early evening and use mosquito coils and plug-in devices.

• Sleeping under a mosquito net is essential in a high-risk country. Before you leave Dubai, purchase a portable one to take with you.

• Keep ceiling fans on overnight. A mosquito will find it harder to land if there is an air current.

If the persistent beggars get you, use an antihistamine cream as soon as possible on the bite (herbal creams such as tiger balm are also effective). Some people benefit from taking oral anti histamines, but watch out: not all are suitable for small children.

By Karen Iley
Time Out Dubai,

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