Chaps, did you realise you can get thrush too?

I like to think I’m a fairly typical bloke in many ways when it comes to health- I was three years late to having my 40+ medical check up for example- and I’m always happy to soldier on with a cold without making a martyr of myself but when Canesten® made me aware of their Talk Health campaign and that men could get thrush, and male thrush was actually a thing, I was a bit taken aback to be honest. So taken aback, I was actually motivated to find out more.

Thrush is a common yeast infection, experienced by both men and women, caused by an overgrowth of a yeast-
like fungus, Candida albicans. This fungus is naturally found on the skin of healthy people, however, when the natural balance of the skin flora is disturbed, the fungus can multiply excessively triggering the typical signs of the infection.

In men, thrush usually affects the head of the penis, with symptoms being similar to those of vaginal thrush:

  • First, the affected skin reddens. The inside of the foreskin can also swell
  • After a few days, itching can begin, often accompanied by a burning sensation which becomes stronger when passing urine or during sexual intercourse
  • Sometimes, a white discharge which looks like cottage cheese can be observed under the foreskin. There may also be an unpleasant smell in some cases
  • Difficulty in pulling back the foreskin is another frequent symptom

So yes gents, it basically hits you where it hurts and where you’d least like to get something like that and have to show a doctor. In fact since reading that men could get thrush, I went on to read up on thrush and found that if left untreated, in some instances it can prove fatal. Eeek! Fortunately it’s about as easy to treat as athlete’s foot and the biggest issue facing us chaps with thrush is an actual awareness that we can get it in the first place.

Canesten® itself is something I am aware of, it’s a popular treatment for thrush, I actually used it on the back on my leg to treat a fungal infection many many years ago (at the recommendation of my GP I hasten to add) but it’s one of those creams that’s found in the “scary aisle” at Boots, along with other stuff that no self respecting bury his head in the sand at all things medical chap would ever look at.

In fact it’s this general lack of awareness centred around male thrush has prompted Canesten, the top brand in women’s intimate health, to launch a ‘Let’s Talk Health’ campaign. This campaign focuses on improving conversation around the topic of thrush, and how it is important for everyone to understand common health conditions.

As I’ve already alluded to, us chaps are quite good at not talking about medical stuff in the first place, in the good old fashioned hope that it will simply “go away”, so it’s hats off to Canesten® for starting the conversation!

This post has been supported by Canesten®, but all thoughts are my own.

Negotiating Work and Family Life: A Guide

As a modern parent, you’re balancing work and family life and trying to do your very best with each. Delivering consistent professionalism at work can take its toll on your energy levels, and the amount of quality time you’re able to spend at home with your family. Negotiating these two fields can be challenging, however, with the assistance of kind family members, help where you need it, and the drive to get home to your kids, you should come closer to achieving an equilibrium between work and family life.

There’s no shame in accepting you need some extra support here and there or cutting down your work hours to part-time in order to have time to care for and nurture your children.

Assistance

You’ll be well aware of the expense involved in raising a family, and even more so if your children have special needs or require extra assistance in performing everyday tasks like washing and dressing. If any one of your children has suffered an injury or illness, and as a result requires specialist care, then consider contacting birth injury solicitors to see whether you could be entitled to compensation to help fund your child’s ongoing clinical care, specialist educational needs, and disability resources such as sensory rooms and helpful mobility aids.

Ask A Family Member

Sometimes you don’t have the time to spend doing home chores and to ferry your kids from a football game, to band practice, to their guitar lessons – and that’s okay. Consider asking a family member to help you out in the evenings if you’re expected back late from work, they can help drop and pick your kids up from classes and prepare a healthy vegetable curry, for example. You could also hire a cleaner to make your house spotless, and take your washing to the local laundry service for you.  

Working Late

Keep your kids informed of your work schedule, and when they can expect you home. Lateness and absence can cause your children to become upset, disheartened and disappointed, so let them know if you’re going to be late home or away for a part of the week. This way, they’re not waiting up late for you to return, or wondering where you are. Be open and honest with your children and think about giving them a call in the evenings if you’re working at the office. Phone home and speak to your kids, tell them that you love them and to wish them good night.  

Quality Time

You should try to spend quality time with your family every day of the week. They should know that you love and cherish them, that you support them, and that you’ll always be on hand to listen to them when they need you. Build a foundation of trust and respect with your children through asking about their day, their school work and life, their friends, and how they’re getting on with extra-curricular activities. If you’re unable to spend time with your children during the working week, then use the weekend to engage in family activity by going to stimulating places like the zoo, theme parks, activity centres, or going for a walk and picnic together.

Owning my fears and dealing with my arch nemesis APATHY, with AXA PPP healthcare

AXA PPP healthcare have made me realise that owning my fears is structured much like a blockbuster movie or bestselling novel, just without the film stars or edge of the seat action sequences (if you don’t count me out on my bike, which you shouldn’t as it’s not very action packed).

Any good film starts with the set up, the heroes find out their challenge and go about achieving their goals, suffer a potentially fatal setback but then struggle through to redemption at the end. Unfortunately I’m at the “suffering a potentially fatal set back” phase in the movie of owning my fears and I’m very much hoping I’ll be able to power through to the final act and big climatic finale but you just never know do you?

As I mentioned last time, my big issue has always been sticking things out. Whether it’s failing to watch Breaking Bad, or neglecting not to eat all the chocolate in the house (including the stuff badly hidden behind the aubergines and eggs at the back of the top shelf of the fridge), I always get off to a good start with the best intentions but fail to stick it out. I’ve managed to get off to a good start owning my fear of an impending early death by making adjustments to my diet and lifestyle but now I’m facing a set back, like our nameless movie heroes. That set back is my arch nemesis: Apathy.

I don’t know about you but I tend to suffer from the process that when an immediate shock wears off or the initial impetus of doing something dwindles, I convince myself that things will be all right in the long run because things always tend to sort themselves out in the end anyway. It’s a comforting lie but it’s a lie none the less.

In the last 3 months I’ve lost almost six kilos and feel much healthier. I’m also sleeping better (both in terms of length of kip and how deep I’m sleeping) and feel generally quite a bit more energised than I have in the last few years.

This month has seen me backslide slightly. My alcohol consumption has gone up from nothing to not very much and I’ve had a ****** (a calorific sandwich with lot of sauce from a popular fast food establishment). Many would poo-poo the consumption of a ****** but for me it’s akin to a gateway drug; the first step towards a downward spiral that will eventually see me sitting down with a four pack of lager and an entire KFC Bargain Bucket to myself. Nobody wants to be that person do they?

It’s been a struggle because there are things I miss like bingeing on chocolate (the pre-diabetes scare has held this in check), eating lots of chips, battered sausages and assorted other junk food, and sitting around on my backside playing video games and watching TV. When the news reports said drinking a certain amount of alcohol could reduce your life expectancy by a few months, I thought, well that’s a pretty good trade off because life probably isn’t going to be much fun when I’m a creaky old 80 year old.

And the thing is, it isn’t fairly weighted. If I want to eat a bag of crisps, something that can be done sitting on one’s posterior on the sofa, I have to be aware that it’s going to require 10 minutes of jogging to burn through those calories. That’s almost criminal and probably the single biggest reason that I’ve always reached the “potentially fatal set back” part of the movie narrative and failed. You don’t see that in the cinema, apart from perhaps at the end of Terminator 3, where Judgement Day actually does happen, much to everyone’s surprise.

This is where being held accountable to someone has really really helped. Becky from AXA PPP healthcare hasn’t only been there to hear my moaning (she hasn’t even been silently reproachful down the phone for goodness sake), but she has provided positive action to help me muddle through the difficult third album phase of my challenge.

Part of that is looking at it positively- I’ve consciously not used the word struggle because that has negative connotations- I can look behind me and know that I’ve succeeded so far rather than looking ahead and seeing failure. Becky has also helped in practical terms too, she sent me some really excellent advice on habit stacking, which you can see from the infographic below, involves taking an existing routine or habit and “stacking” a new positive routine you want on to it in order to make it stick more.

I am a creature of routine and this had never occurred to me but it’s genius, especially when the good habits you want to build aren’t particularly fun or something that might come naturally to you!

As I work in an office environment, it’s quite easy for me to append a 15 minute walk onto my lunch every day (weather permitting). I’m a creature of habit and always tend to eat my lunch at about 12:15 everyday, so at 12:30 I now go for a 15 minute stroll around the block. It’s a simple as that and after a couple of weeks I already associate lunch with a bit of exercise- hurrah! This is something I’m looking to extend to drinking a pint of water after my morning ablutions to make sure I’m properly hydrated and having a vitamin D tablet with my first cup of tea of the day in the office to make sure my vitamin D levels are kept up (I’ve tested low for this in the past).

In some of my other posts I’ve started off with a quote from a film and then applied that to my situation. I had a couple of ideas how to end this post with something similar. I was going to quote the rather excellent Hey Duggee! Stick Song:

Because sticking with something is really powerful but in the end, although my youngest loves Hey Duggee, I’m slightly less enamoured by it and there is no excuse to not shoehorn a Star Wars quote in wherever possible.

During the attack run on the Death Star at the end of Star Wars (or a New Hope if you’re not as old as I am), Gold Leader starts his attack run, covered by a couple of support craft, including Gold Five. Gold Five constantly reminds Gold Leader to “Stay on target” and that they’re “Almost there” as Darth Vader and a couple of Tie Fighters come to attack. Those words of encouragement are important because without support, we all have a tendency to doubt ourselves and once you start doubting yourself, you’re in trouble. Actually, thinking about it, that’s a bit of flawed analogy because Gold Leader, Gold Five and the rest of that squadron all get blown up by Vader, because nobody but the named hero, Luke Skywalker, is allowed to blow up the Death Star, but you get my point don’t you?

If you want to own your fears, you can find some Gold Five levels of support over on the AXA PPP healthcare Own Your Fears minisite right now!

 

How to Feel Great: 5 Top Tips

It’s been a long, long winter, and you may have been questioning when it was likely to end, but hopefully, by the time you read this, you will be wearing your shorts and be sat with a beer in front of the barbeque. However, the chances are high that you still have the central heating on and it is lashing with rain, which is why you may need some top tips on how to feel great – which are not weather dependent.

 

  • Clothes

 

The clothes that you wear are functional in that they hide your nether regions from the unsuspecting public, but they can also give you the ability to feel great. Go to your wardrobe and try all your clothes on. You will find that there are some that although you have designated them for gardening and dirty work, you wear them out in public – these need binning. Keep a t-shirt and pair of trousers to fulfil this role; the rest need to go.

Make a concerted effort to wear clothes that:

  1. Fit you
  2. Complement your body shape
  3. Suit your complexion
  4. Make you feel good

Well-fitting clothes that make you look good makes you feel good too!

 

  • Exercise

 

You may have swapped playing football for spectating at the children’s games, but it is time for you to regain your physical fitness. No matter that it has been twenty years, regular exercise is critical to your health, and you need to make every effort to get healthy. You may not be as slender as you were in your youth, but that is even more of a reason to get exercising. There are plenty of groups that you can join to get fit.

Regular exercising releases endorphins that are the happiness hormones. Once you get into exercising, you will find that other areas of your life will be positively impacted, and you will feel great.

 

  • Personal Grooming

 

You may visit the local barbers for a haircut, but occasionally, splash out and go to a professional stylist. It may not be something that you have ever done before, but a good cut can transform how you look and take years off you. If you are self-aware of your receding hairline, you could also seek a solution. An innovative Advanced Tricho Pigmentation treatment is one option which works to replicate the appearance of natural hair follicles, specially developed for those with little to no hair and imitates the appearance of a shaved head.

Taking care of your appearance is an important tool to boost your confidence and feel great about yourself.

 

  • Friends

 

When you have full on work and family commitments, life can begin to feel like a treadmill. You need to schedule some time to spend with old friends. You know the saying that laughter is the best medicine, so take the opportunity to catch up with friends that you haven’t seen for a while.

It’s so easy to keep in touch with people via social media, but nothing beats face to face communication with people that you can truly be yourself with.

 

  • New Experiences

 

Routines are an important aspect of running a household and bringing up children, but although they are important, they can make daily life feel like a schedule, rather than something that should be lived to its maximum. One way to shake that treadmill feeling is to experience something new. Whether you have always wanted to try surfing, visit a Himalayan temple, or even a restaurant in a local town, the stimulation of experiencing something new is exhilarating.

Take control of your own happiness and follow these top tips to give a spring in your step and feel great about yourself. Self-confidence is a wonderful gift to have, and if you can develop it, the benefits to your life are far-reaching.

4 Tips to Planning the Perfect Weekend in London For The Whole Family

With the good weather and couple of days off ahead, thanks to May’s bank holiday, it’s about time to start planning your weekend trips with the family. But knowing where to begin, especially if you have chosen, a big city like London can be daunting. We put together a short list of tips that hopefully will help you to organise a best family time in the Big Smoke.

Book a hotel close to the biggest attractions   

Booking your hotel in advance is the next step you will need to make after buying traveling tickets. And it is an important one. Depending on the age of your kids, and the family size, there will be different recommendations you might consider, but in general, the closer to the London centre is your hotel the better. Staying close to the key London’s attractions and landmarks can save your time, money, not to mention, making the overall commute experience less troublesome. Having a room rented out in the centre, also gives you a chance to refresh at any time you need it, without relying on public changing rooms, or toilets in cafe and restaurants. The Thistle Trafalgar Square is a hidden gem just around the corner from the Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Soho and Covent Garden, that is definitely worth considering if you are planning stress- free, family-friendly weekend break.

Make democratic choices  

You might get used to deciding for the rest of the family but remember that your kids are growing, and they need to get their voices heard too.  So, it’s important you not only give them choices but also ask for suggestions. Although as a parent you might not be an ardent Harry Potter or Chelsea fan yourself ( and let’s be honest, that’s probably not on your list yet), you should try to understand that visiting London can be the only chance your kids will have to explore sites related to their biggest idols.  So, before you make any reservations, get your family together and ask them for suggestions. This will allow you to make a plan, and avoid any drama, such as seeing any disappointed faces.  

Plan your journey ahead  

Once your family have submitted their choices, it’s a time to make a rough plan where you will go and what you will visit. Planning your journey ahead, allows you to eliminate most of the obstacle that could utterly spoil the otherwise fun time in London. These obstacles include:  rushing from one place to another, losing your holiday time to plan the next steps of your trip, spending excessive amount of money on unexpected Uber rides, eating in overrated (or underrated) restaurants, and finally missing out. It’s been proved with loads of empirical evidence, that the time unplanned, can’t possibly match the fun you will have moving smoothly from one place to another. And it’s especially important when your biggest critics – your kids will be around.

Pre- book tickets for attractions

Leaving your home with tickets in your pocket gives you a lot of advantages, but the biggest one is perhaps securing a good value for money, for the attractions you are about to see. And all London’s early birds, who know how hard sometimes it is to get tickets for venues, would agree. But it’s not only about staying organised. Some of the attractions are regularly sold out, and others such as the Harry Potter studio, don’t even sell the tickets on the doors. Other, like the House of Parliament will ask you to book a slot. Think, plan, and get your tickets sorted on time!

Review: Concept the board game

At completely the opposite end of the board game spectrum from last months Catan, is Concept, a board game built around using visual clues to guess a word or phrase. Concept is dead easy to play but like any good board game, the more people you have, the more fun and frantic things get.

Concept is the latest game we’ve been sent by the board game club to expand our board gaming vistas beyond the traditional games of Monopoly and Cluedo that are pretty much all I ever managed to progress to after I got bored playing chess.

Concept has a board with four columns and a row of colours. The idea is to string together a cryptic set of icons from the columns to describe a word or phrase from a card. Each card has three words or phrases on for three different difficulty levels.

In the picture above, for the word “Zebra”, I put the starter piece (a question mark) on the animal icon in the first column, and then two cubes on the black and white colours. This says to the other players on my team that they’re looking for an animal that’s black and white. So far so simple but what if the card had “Jaws” on it? That’s a bit more complicated. I might put the question mark starter on film or TV, then a cube on animals (both of these are in the first column), then a cube on hare in the second column to denote “speed”, and finally a cube on the water icon in the third column to denote it’s an aquatic animal. Hopefully that would be enough for someone to guess the movie as “Jaws” and not Free Willy or The Penguins of Madagascar!

Those are the basic rules but they do get more complex- you can effectively give separate sub-clues by using different coloured cubes, and other players should pay particularly close attention to the order that the cubes are laid down as they can give important clues themselves.

I’ve read some stinking reviews of Concept online from board game enthusiasts and if you google Concept you’ll probably find some yourself but I found myself enjoying the game immensely and finding completely the opposite to these negative reviews. Them great thing about Concept is the limitations to what you can select in terms of icons/clues. You sometimes have to use a large degree of lateral thinking to get to an answer that might seem obvious to you but everyone else is struggling to get to grips with. This creates great tension and allows for a lot of banter during a game (which typically lasts around 40 minutes). The more people you have, the more fun you will have as it can get quite competitive in the way that a slower, more complex game doesn’t.

Concept is aimed at 10+ year olds, and although it’s easy to CRUSH your kids while playing, it is also a genuine learning experience for them as they’re learning all sorts of logic puzzles and semiotics(!) Concept is available from all good retailers for an RRP of £30.99.

4 Great Electronic Toys for Kids

Toys are toys, regardless of whether they are made from wood, plastic or metal. However, there is something about electronic toys for kids that make great gifts. Maybe it’s the novelty of new technology, but electronics have become the most popular genre of toys in the market today! Let’s take a look at some favourites:

  • deAO Toys RC Amphibious Hovercraft: £35.99

The future is finally here with kids everywhere wanting a hovercraft. It may seem completely alien buying such a toy, so we’ve selected our favourite model. This particular hovercraft offers the best bang for your buck. Measuring just short of 15 inches in length, the deAO hovercraft is a fast and robust all-terrain vehicle that can reach a top speed of 20km/h and has a range of 50 metres. The sleek black hovercraft is also capable of doing 360 degree turns. Powered by two powerful lateral fans, the manufacturer claims that the deAO hovercraft performs better over water. Recommended age: 9 years and above.

  • Dragon Touch Y88X Plus 7-inch Tablet: £39.99

Designed specifically for kids, the Dragon Touch Y88X is preloaded with Google’s KIDOZ operating system. KIDOZ is almost identical to Android OS but it comes with one major difference – it’s kid friendly, so you no longer have to worry about your child viewing inappropriate videos or playing unsuitable games. Even the app store is child-friendly. The Y88X is also preloaded with a bunch of Disney freebies, including stories and audio books. With its high video and audio quality, your kids won’t be bugging you about using your expensive iPad ever again. Although the manufacturer have no user age recommendation, we believe children as young as two years old will be able to use the tablet on their own since studies have shown that most children have developed the common skills required to use touch-screen devices by that age.

  • 3Doodler PowerPuff: £49.99

This is like 3D printing, only cooler. Instead of computers and fancy (and expensive) 3D printers, the 3Doodler is a handheld device which can be used to manipulate plastic into any design and shape. The device comes with a large library of designs which your child can use first, so they won’t have a difficult learning curve to master this very impressive toy. Recommended age: 8 to 14 years old.

  • TURNMEON 1.44″ Touch Screen Smart Watch: £29.98

This smart watch is the perfect toy for kids who love to have the same gadgets as mum and dad. The watch doesn’t just tell time. You can connect it to phones and computers, you can play games, and you can even take pictures. On top of that, the TURNMEON smart watch also comes with a GPS tracker, pedometer, SOS alarm and remote listening capability. And as a bonus, owing to its tracking ability, parents can keep track of their children’s whereabouts all day long.

 

The middle bit is the tricky bit- AXA PPP healthcare Facing my own Fears

Napoleon and I have one or two things in common. I’m not a short French dictator with a complex but I’m pretty rubbish at a war of attrition, and good old Napoleon did rather famously fail in his invasion of Russia. Facing my big fear- my own mortality, and doing something about it- is in many ways akin to invading Russia. The first bit is easy but then all you see is the enormity of it and feel trouble – but it doesn’t have to be this way if you can just see past the initial panic.

Fortunately I’ve not been driven to eating my own horse. That’s probably because I don’t have a horse mind you.

Feeling galvanised from my first conversation with Becky from the AXA PPP healthcare team, I finally got around to booking my 40+ health check at the doctors. Only three years too late but you know me, never put off until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely. My fear of being told something was seriously wrong with me (I’m quite a bit overweight) made it much easier to avoid. But now I’m into the swing of facing my fears and using them to motivate myself, I thought it was entirely the right time.

So imagine my surprise when I received a phone call a few days after having my blood tests asking me to come in immediately as I was a high risk of diabetes. I happened to take the call while taking the cat to the vets to have the pus drained from a bite on his head, so couldn’t go in immediately. And the doctors being the doctors, immediately didn’t have the option of not quite immediately but very soon anyway. No, I had a wait of a week which reduced me to a nervous wreck. Fortunately I was able to draw on the expert help of Becky from AXA PPP healthcare, who as well as being a physiologist, also happens to be a pre-diabetes councillor.

Becky was able to talk me down from the cliff I’d put myself on (metaphorically, I’m scared of heights too), and pointed out that one in three people are actually pre-diabetic and there were some really practical steps I could take right away. For me fear is quite strongly rooted in passivity and the inability to effect outcomes, so having something practical to do before I saw the GP really really helped me. Sometimes you need a little help to own your own fears, and AXA PPP healthcare were able to provide that.

The biggest problem I have generally when it comes to achieving any goal is keeping the focus and not either backsliding or losing interest over a period of time. I have a short attention span, and even less sticking power. About the only thing I ever really finish are books, and I’ve lost count of the number of video games I’ve only ever played the tutorial on (hint: it’s most of the video games I’ve ever played).

That’s not to say I’m lazy (although my wife might disagree!) but I don’t easily see things through. For example if you were to ask me how good I thought Breaking Bad was, I’d tell you it was utterly fantastic and one of the best TV shows I’ve seen. I’d then go on to tell you that I got as far as episode six of season two and never got round to watching the rest of it for some reason or other. I am terrible.

This is were Becky at AXA PPP healthcare has really helped. Being held accountable, especially to someone I don’t really know, has helped me stay focused and the scare over being potentially diabetic has also played it’s part too. Knowing that I’m still in the woods as it were, and not free in the open has a certain immediacy to it that is helping.

With regard to the targets we set last month (get down to under 100KG, eat better lunches, and the third one?) I’m slowly getting there. I’ve lost three kilos in total, despite being busier at work and in the office longer. I’ve also enjoyed some great left overs and had some positive comments from others over what I’ve been scoffing. I’ve even managed to cut down the drinking significantly, not that it was excessive to begin with mind, but it all helps doesn’t it?

If you’ve been putting off something like a check up or a well being check, I can heartily recommend you grab the bull by the horns and make that appointment now. The simple fact you’re actually doing something will actually be empowering because the fear of being afraid of what you don’t know can’t be any worse than the fear of what you do know and are dealing with!

How to Protect Your Family on Holidays

A family holiday should be a highlight of the year, however it can become a nightmare situation if something goes wrong and there isn’t any protection in place. Travel insurance provides vital peace of mind for you and your family, in case the unpredictable occurs. However, in 2016-17 a quarter of holidaymakers risked travelling without suitable insurance,

 Here is our quick guide to get you up to speed on all you need to know so that you can make the most of your trip.

 Make sure you have holiday insurance

 Although it is not mandatory taking out travel insurance should be a priority as without it you may find you are on your own and problems may only get worse. Travel insurance should keep you and your family safe in case of any number of incidents including: needing to cancel or cut a trip short due to reasons that are out of your control, transport delays or cancellation and lost or damaged items.

 Perhaps more crucially, travel insurance provides protection for medical situations, for example what would happen if you became ill whilst abroad and needed medical treatment? If you have taken out travel insurance beforehand, you should be covered for most medical incidents and their consequences. Travel insurance also provides ‘personal liability’ cover, if you are liable to pay damages should you injure someone else.

 There can be severe financial consequences for failing to take out travel insurance.  Measuring the cost of an average annual travel insurance policy at £37 against the average medical claim of £1,300 or the average cancellation claim of £816, it is clear that there is much more to lose if you choose to travel without sufficient insurance.

 What sort of holiday insurance?

 Travel insurance is widely available and can be purchased from insurance companies, banks, retailers and online comparison sites but there are hundreds of travel insurance policies out there, as a quick internet search will illustrate. So, how do you pick the correct one for you?

 Although it may be tempting to choose the cheapest policy, it is likely that the price reflects the cover provided. Before taking anything out its worth spending some time researching which policy is best for you and your family. This is one of those occasions when it really pays to read the small print.  In most cases what cover is provided and any restrictions on it should be in plain English and you might worry about any policy where it all looks overly complicated or you just can’t ‘get’ what they are really offering. 

 There are comparison sites that have quick and easy charts setting out what is available but key things you will want to look for include medical expenses (how much is the total cover and does it cover the countries you are to visit?), a reparation service (to get you back home after an accident), cancellation, delay or missed departure, baggage cover and personal liability cover. Polices can vary depending on how many people are being covered, where you are going, how often you go, how long you go for and whether any adventurous sports are planned.

 To receive full cover, you must declare any prior medical conditions.

 What happens if you don’t have holiday insurance?

 If you do not take out travel insurance and are unlucky enough to be taken into hospital, you will be solely responsible for the costs incurred. In the UK, access to the NHS means that we are often unaware of the true costs of medical treatment. However, abroad (particularly outside the EU) it is not uncommon for medical bills to run into the tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. This is without the inclusion of additional costs, such as transport home.

 A common misconception when travelling in Europe is that the EHIC card acts as a replacement to travel insurance. An EHIC card grants individuals the same access to medical facilities as locals, however this does not mean that the treatment is of the same standard as at home and this does not include additional costs (such as transportation fees) and you may have to pay up front and recover the money when you get home (for now but subject to Brexit).

 To put the cost of medical bills into perspective, recent figures estimate that it would cost £15,000 to pay for the treatment of a broken hip in Spain and return flights. Treatment for a stomach infection in California and flights home could cost £100,000.

 What can you do if you have an accident abroad?

 Unfortunately accidents do occur. However, there are actions that you can take if you or someone in your family has been injured.

 Keep your travel insurance policy number and emergency contact telephone number with you and contact your insurer as soon as possible.

 Whether you have insurance or not you may incur costs and if someone else was to blame you may be able to recover those when you get back home.

 If you believe that you or your family has been involved in an accident that was due to someone else’s negligence (and holiday accidents can range from food poisoning to a broken bone through to brain or spinal cord injuries), you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim. You should seek medical treatment immediately (and keep receipts) but get professional legal advice as soon as you get home.

 The rules regarding holiday accident compensation claims can be complex and difficult to understand. Thompsons Solicitors has significant expertise in securing holiday accident personal injury claims, and these links explain how the law works.  Thompsons specialist teams of personal injury solicitors can advise you if you have a valid compensation claim.

 To start a UK-based holiday accident claim, you can either fill in our short online claim form or call Thompsons Solicitors’ experienced personal injury lawyers on 0800 0 224 224.

 

 

Lego City Mining Review and Giveaway With Smyths

It’s easy to get sucked into buying branded LEGO sets; I’ve got a big stack of Star Wars and Marvel Superhero sets stashed away for birthdays and rewards for the kids but Smyths have popped up with a timely reminder that their is fun in the LEGO universe outside of the film and TV tie ins with some LEGO City for review and another set for a giveaway!

LEGO City Mining is a sub set of LEGO City that focuses on the big rigs that, surprise!, do mining. All the characters come equipped with hard hats and some of the machinery is really cool- rock smashers, a tunneller with counter rotating drill bits at the front– and you can even recreate the Indiana Jones mine cart chase in miniature because there is a mine cart set too.

The boy and Fifi spent a fun filled weekend building a lot of bright yellow digging equipment and if you would like your little ones to build a lot of bright yellow digging equipment, now is your chance because Symths Toys have kindly given another set of the, um, sets to me to give away (LEGO City Mining sets 60184, 60185, 60186 and 60188).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • UK only
  • Winner chosen at random via rafflecopter
  • Prize is one LEGO CITY MINING BUNDLE worth £140 – No alternatives will be offered
  • The winner will be notified within seven days of the competition closing
  • The winner has 14 days to claim their prize after notification. If the winner fails to claim their prize within 14 days an alternative winner will be chosen