WHAT vaccinations do I need to go backpacking in Thailand?

The health risks when travelling abroad vary on a case by case basis.

Many issues such as activities abroad, length if stay and your general health. For trips to Thailand, it's common for courses or booster immunisations to be administered to protect against Hepatitis A and Tetanus. Additional vaccines to consider are Cholera, Diptheria, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies and Typhoid

It's best to visit your GP surgery if they provide a travel clinic service, or local pharmacy which offers a travel clinic service. Malaria is another disease present in Thailand, it's transmitted by mosquitoes and can sometimes be fatal. Make sure you speak to your GP or local pharmacy about anti-malarial tablets, employ measures to help prevent mosquito bites and check the Thailand Malaria Map at www.firfortravel.nhs.uk

WHAT should I do if my child gets bitten by a dog?

It's always best to seek medical advice if your child has been bitten by a dog or any other animal for that matter. Serious animal and human bites can get infected if they're not checked over and treated quickly.

If your child is bitten, clean the wound immediately by running warm tap water of it for a couple of minutes, do this even if the skin isn't broken.

Remove any objects from the bite, such as hair or dirt and, if the wound is bleeding heavily, put a clean sterile pad over it and apply pressure. Dry the wound and cover it with a plaster or dressing.

You should seek medical advice, especially if the bite has broken the skin

To relieve pain your child can take painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol – children under 16 years old should not take aspirin.

WHAT is a hiatus hernia?

A hiatus hernia is when part of the stomach squeezes up into the chest through a space in the diaphragm.

On it's own, a hiatus hernia rarely shows has any apparent symptoms, however in some cases a hiatus hernia can cause gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), a condition where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus. Although not serious, GORD can cause a lot of discomfort for those who experience it.

A hiatus hernia is typically diagnoses after a gastroscopy or x-ray.

Treating this condition is only necessary if it casusing noticeable problems such as gastro oesophageal reflux disease . In mild to moderate cases, this can be treated with lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol, eating smaller more frequent meals, removing 'trigger' food from your diet. Trigger food are foods that appear to make your GORD worse. In more severe or persistent cases, specialist medications or surgery may be recommended by your GP, especially if you have a sliding hiatus hernia (hernias that move up and down, in and out of the chest area).