Ask the Doctor: Christmas preparations

Photo of Dr Faisal Siddiqui.

December is finally here, and what a year 2017 has been! From political shock waves to some of the warmest temperatures on record, 2017 has been a year to remember.

December is also the start of Christmas preparations for many of us. Taking care of your health is very much as important as ensuring the turkey gets in the oven on time.

Planning ahead is crucial. Always ensure that if you are on repeat or regular medication that you have enough to last you over the Christmas period. This is also relevant if you are staying away from home over the holidays. Although the NHS is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, please be aware that over the Christmas period a limited service is run by pharmacies and general practice. The provision of this may be different across the country. If you are travelling aboard don’t forget travel insurance and/or a valid European health insurance card.

Also remember to make sure your medicine cabinet and first aid box is up to date. From dealing with minor injuries such as small burns or post-Christmas dinner reflux, a well-stocked medicine cupboard may prevent an unnecessary trip to the Out of Hours service or the Accident & Emergency department. I’m sure everyone is aware to keep medicines away and out of reach of children too!

Staying warm is also important to keeping well. This doesn’t mean you have to turn up the thermostat, but try to wear several layers made from natural fibers. As soon as it night draws in draw your curtains! This will help prevent drafts and keep the heat in.

It also isn’t too late to get your flu jab if you haven’t already. The flu can put a real dampener on anyone’s Christmas and is a real issue for the young and old. It is free for many at risk groups, but can also be purchased and administered in many pharmacies for a small fee, if you are not eligible for a free flu jab.

Having said all that, Christmas is meant to be a merry time and a chance to catch up with friends and family. I and the rest of the practice team wish all the readers of the Bradley Stoke Journal a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dr Faisal Siddiqui
Bradley Stoke Surgery

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