This story was published 23 July 2018

Now that the schools have broken up, North Yorkshire County Council is asking people to take some simple steps to make sure that the summer holidays are as good as they should be.

Two lambs on a North Yorkshire farm

Kathryn Ingold, Consultant in Public Health for North Yorkshire, said: “We’ve pulled together some tips that we hope will help people to take care and avoid potential problems caused by insect stings and bites, swimming in cold water, contact with farm animals and measles.

“Please take a few minutes to read them – they could help you to have a great summer.”

Avoiding insect bites and stings

It’s a good idea to wear a long-sleeved top and long trousers if you are going somewhere where there may be insects, and put on insect repellent. It is also very important to check yourself, children and pets for ticks, as they can carry Lyme disease, which is very unpleasant. If you find a tick, you should remove it with tweezers. Having a bath or shower after a day out is always a good way of helping to get rid of any undetected ones.

Stay safe around water

In the hot weather, people are often tempted to cool down by taking a swim, but cold water can be a killer as it can lead to breathing difficulties and heart attacks. Usually, when someone gets into difficulties in cold water, they automatically try to swim hard, but the best thing to do is fight that urge and float until the temperature shock passes – they will be able to control their breathing and have a far better chance of staying safe. There is a lot of useful information about water safety on the RNLI website

Farm visits

Visiting a farm can be a great day out for both children and adults alike, but it's important to remember that contact with farm animals carries a risk of infections because of the germs they carry naturally. Public Health England has produced a free leaflet that gives information about avoiding infection on farm visits.


There is a large outbreak of measles across Europe, so it’s a good idea to make sure any young people who are going abroad on holiday get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination before they go, if they haven’t already had it. People up to the age of 18 who missed, or only partially completed, their earlier MMR vaccination can have a free catch-up vaccination from their GP.

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, said: “We want everyone to have a wonderful summer, so please follow these health tips – they could help to ensure you have the happy holiday season with friends and family that you’re hoping for.”