Whether you are taking part in a sporting event, attending a music festival or simply taking the family to the local beach – there are loads of things to in Dorset over the upcoming Bank Holiday; and while we’re not expecting the high temperatures of recent months, the NHS is reminding people to stay safe and know where to go if they need medical assistance.

Be safe in the sun

  • spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • try and make sure you never burn
  • cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
  • take extra care with children
  • use sunscreen – at least factor 15

If you do get burnt in most cases, you can treat sunburn at home. Cool your skin by having a cold bath or shower, or by dabbing the area with a cold, wet flannel. Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and use after-sun lotion (or any lotions with aloe vera in them) to soothe the burn.

Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen might help to relieve the pain, too – check the packet or ask your pharmacist for what dosage you should take if you’re not sure.

Know where to go for help

If you are taken ill and need medical advice there are a number of ways to get help:

  • if you are not sure where to go or just need advice call NHS 111 which is free 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • headaches, coughs and colds, upset stomach can be treated at a local pharmacy – pharmacists are clinically trained and have private consulting rooms
  • contact your usual GP for ongoing problems or persistent pain – if you can’t get an appointment, extra sessions will be running at some practices over the weekend
  • got a sprain, strain, cuts or bruises – visit your local minor injuries unit   or if you are in the Weymouth area call in at the Community Urgent Treatment Centre

Emergency Departments (also known as Accident and Emergency Departments) can get extremely busy during the summer holidays and should only be used for life threatening situations. Think before you dial 999 – is there somewhere else that could help?

Find out when your local services are open via www.nhs.uk.

Get organised

Stock up your medicine cabinet, so that you have self-help medicines such as a first aid kit, paracetamol and a thermometer, in case you need them whilst the pharmacies are closed. Your pharmacist will be able to advise you on what to keep in the house.

If you’re planning a trip, ensure you don’t run out of your prescribed medicines while you’re away. Let your GP practice and pharmacist know in plenty of time before your departure, as they may be able to arrange for your prescription to be processed earlier than usual.

If you have difficulty ordering your medicines, discuss with your pharmacist or GP practice to see how they can help you.

For more information and to find out what help is available in Dorset visit www.staywelldorset.nhs.uk.