Enjoying a staycation this year? Or perhaps heading to the Essex coast for the day to make the most of the sunshine and keep the kids entertained. It is always best to ensure you have your essentials packed.
Whether you are a super organised or last-minute packer, here is a handy checklist so you don’t forget those all important items to keep you and your family safe and well in the sunshine.
First Aid Kit
Cuts on the beach, trips and falls – accidents can happen and it’s best to be prepared!
You may already keep a first aid kit in your car but it is handy to pack a small travel one in your day bag too for the ‘just in case’ factor and help avoid a trip to the local pharmacy.
A first aid kit typically includes plasters, antiseptic wipes/cream, bandages and dressings, safety pins, sterile gloves, medical tape and scissors but you can add to it whatever you like.
The NHS website has a comprehensive list of items a first aid kit may contain, which can help you to bespoke the contents of yours to suit the needs of your family.
Always make sure you check the use-by dates of medicines and items within your kit before you travel.
If you take any prescription medicines double check you have these packed before setting off on your trip. This will put your mind at ease, and you won’t have to waste precious holiday time at the local GP surgery or pharmacy obtaining your forgotten vital medication.
Some medications or medicine combinations can cause patients a greater sensitivity to the sun and cause skin rashes, blisters or bumps. Always check with your GP and request a medicine review if you are unsure.
If you know you are at risk of photosensitivity avoid exposure to direct sunlight and use a high factor sunscreen.
It is possible to burn in the UK, even on cloudy days, so remember to pack your sunscreen!
With so many types and brands of sunscreen available it can be confusing which to choose and not all provide adequate protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Purchase one with a SPF of at least 30, to protect against UVB (ultraviolet B radiation) and at least a 4-star protection rating against UVA (ultraviolet A radiation).
Check your cream is in date – last year’s bottle at the back of the bathroom cabinet might be past its expiry date and not provide protection. Most sunscreens have a shelf-life of 2-3 years.
It’s best to not just rely on sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
Invest in a sun hat to cover your head and provide shade for your face. The best hats to choose are ones with a wide brim to cover your neck and ears too.
Sunglasses are not just to look cool and prevent squinting, they are essential for preventing sunburn and damage to your eyes. Light reflected from sand and water can be particularly dangerous. When choosing sunglasses check for the CE mark.
Also remember to pack lightweight clothes to cover up with and seek the shade when the sun is at its peak between 11am-3pm.
Refillable water bottle
Keep hydrated by taking your own refillable water bottle with you. A number of businesses across Essex will let you top up your water free of charge, download the Refill app to view participating establishments in the area you are visiting.
Many of the reusable metal bottles maintain the temperature of your water so can keep it cool – perfect to refresh on a hot sunny day! Plus by choosing reusable, you will be doing your bit for the environment and reducing plastic waste.
Mosquito repellent and bite cream
Summer is prime time for mosquitoes, wasps and bees in the UK. Protect yourself with some insect repellent to avoid itchy bites and painful stings.