'Ealth 'n Safety

Trip Start Dec 03, 2012
Trip End Aug 25, 2013

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Things that bite in the night - 22nd September 2012

Tonight I'm trying to buy mosquito nets and its bringing back nostalgic memories of my childhood. I can remember waking up one morning with a big black thing hanging from a corner of the net at my feet. I thought it was a giant spider and lay there screaming until my mum arrived and hoiked me out. Turned out to be a very lost bat, probably brought in by the cat.

Anyway, we can get nets with a very fine mesh that are hot but keep out midges, or more normal nets that just keep out mozzies. I don't usually get bitten by Paul and Izzy are very tasty and come out in welts. I don't mind the heat, but they do. So how important is it to keep out the midges? At the moment I think they might only be a problem in Mexico where we stay in a beach hut for 3 nights.

I ended up buying 2 x standard (300 holes per inch) double nets and 2 x single nets from Purple Turtle, to cover all angles. Also a bite zapper from Amazon (stumbled on this but it has excellent reviews) and a ton of 100% DEET (its a repellent not an insecticide so I'm not worried about using it).

Hopefully this is the last time I'll need to think about insect bites. Incidentally when we had our last set of injections Izzy showed the nurse a particularly bad bite and was told it was from a false black widow spider, so weird bites happen even here!

We'll be away from major towns only occasionally, so I expect a lot of what we're taking would be available quite easily. Most if it is just stuff I have in the house anyway, plus some anti bite stuff that might be harder to find without Amazon (the shop not the jungle!). There's probably too much...

Injections - October 16th 2012

We need a lot of injections! I think we're nearly there now, with a grand total of 8.

We're protected against: Hepatitis A, Thyphoid, Diptheria, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Yellow Fever.

We'll also need to take daily malaria tablets from a couple of weeks before we leave.

Unfortunately there is no convenient vaccine for Dengue fever, plague, oroya fever (?), Chagas' disease, gnathostomiasis (an intestinal parasite), histoplasmosis, leishmaniasis, loptospirosis or AIDS... or altitude sickness, heatstroke, snake bites, DVT and who knows what else.

Packing the medicine cabinet into a rucksack - 22nd November 2012

First Aid kit (for a day sack)

The biggest item in the First Aid kit is the Aspiventin that sucks out poison from bites and stings. I'd have been sceptical about this if I hadn't seen it used by Sarah for sea urchin spines in Turkey (ow). Lots of what we have is courtesy of the NHS, either from various trips to casualty (its criminal what they throw away!) or from when my mum was very sick back in 2004.

Afterbite (basically ammonia)
flint firestarter (OK maybe I've read too many of those jungle survival tales)
Inadine wound dressings (8 years old but Iodine doesn't go of?)
Cosmopor sterile plasters
Mepore giant sterile plasters
Iripod sterile saline solution pods
3M medical sticky tape
gauze bandge
steri strips
stretchy bandage
assorted blister and normal plasters
kids paracetemol sachets
adult paracetemol
puritabs (probably out of date - from when we were in Malawi in 92... umm that is a long time)
antihisamine tablets
hotel sewing kit (you never know when a button will come off)

This sounds a lot but there are only a few of each item, so it packs into our little first aid bag very neatly.

Medicine bag (yes it is black)
digital thermometer
Compseed cold sore patches (Paul is prone)
Zovirax cold sore cream
Antihistamine tablets
Buscopan ('sore tummy tablets in case Thomas eats wheat)
Canestan tablet
magnesium sulphate paste (for all those nasty boils we'll get)
tea tree oil (not sure what for but its only a small bottle...)
cold and flu tablets
deep heat cream
rehydration tablets and sachets
immodium (I'm sure this will be well used!)
pack of sterile needles, cannula, catheter etc (from the 92 Malawi trip - half is missing, left to a little hospital on Likoma Island where Paul had a stay)

Shared toiletries bag

We'll each have our own toiletries bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, deoderant etc. I guess Toms will be the smallest. I'll use my nice new one from Phillipa. And then a bag with the bigger stuff for sharing as follows:

DEET 100%
Itch gone (zapper!)
Safesea (jellyfish repellant !)
Blue sunblock stick
Factor 20 suncream
Factor 30 suncream
Anti-itch cream
Ear plugs (wax ones to keep water out in case of infection)
Blister plasters (love em)
Normal plasters
Sea sickness bands
Blisteze cream

Just the clothes, books, shoes, maps, tech and school stuff to pack. I hope our bags are like the Tardis.

written by Fran

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