If you’re preparing to set off on your gap year or you’re planning a scuba diving holiday, the last thing you want is for your eagerly awaited trip to end in disaster with a bout of the bends. Whether you’re a beginner or you’re a qualified PADI driver, it’s important to be wary of the risks associated with diving and to comply with safety measures to reduce your risk of becoming ill abroad and avoid travel accidents. Here are 5 top tips to prevent the bends:
- Use a dive computer: Dive computers track your depth and the time you have been under, showing when you are safe and when you are at risk of sustaining injuries and travel sickness associated with the bends. If your depth and time suggest that there may be a risk of decompression illness, this will be flagged up and you can act to reduce your risk. A dive computer can also be really useful for helping you to reduce the speed of your ascent, preventing you from coming up too quickly.
- Stay hydrated: It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated when travelling abroad, especially in hot countries where you are likely to lose fluid through sweating more quickly. Dehydration is one of the most common risk factors for the bends, so make sure you drink plenty of water before and after your dive.
- Don’t dive if you feel unwell: If you feel ill abroad, take time out to rest and recover before attempting to dive. Research suggests that diving when you feel under the weather increases the risk of decompression illness.
- Don’t exercise after diving: If you’ve been scuba diving, avoid doing any physical exercise, especially at altitude, afterwards. Try to wait at least four hours, especially if you have done a long or deep dive.
- Seek medical advice if you develop symptoms: You should never ignore symptoms following a dive; see a doctor if you experience abdominal pain, aches and muscular pain, a cough, fatigue and skin rashes.
Claiming compensation for a travel accident
If you’ve been injured abroad in a holiday accident or you’ve suffered illness overseas through no fault of you own, you may be eligible for travel accident compensation. If the incident occurred within the last 3 years and you have evidence to prove somebody else’s negligence, Accident Advice Helpline could help you to make a successful holiday accident claim. So give us a call on 0800 689 0500 and speak to one of our advisors.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice