Barbados health advice

Sun, sea and rum punch

Enjoy your holiday but… follow our Barbados health advice

Not all beaches are safe for swimming. Avoid the east coast, although there are a few beaches where you can swim. There are occasionally strong currents and big surf on the south and west coast. Ask the lifeguards.

Sunshine 

Lots of it, but you will burn… particularly in the middle of the day. Use suntan lotion (apply before DEET) and wear a hat.

 

Mosquitoes

The hot topic in travel health is the Zika virus. It is recommended that pregnant women or those women planning to become pregnant seek further advice from their doctor before travelling.

Zika has been linked to microephaly, a brain defect in unborn children and young babies. Those with a weakened immune system or chronic medical condition may also be at risk.

For others, symptoms are mild and short-lived. Avoid being bitten. Use a repellent with DEET. Wear light clothing over exposed skin.

Chikungunya and Dengue

Zika is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for Chikungunya, a virus which causes fever and severe joint pain. Aedes aegypti bites during the day, particularly at dusk and dawn.

The symptoms for dengue do not usually last very long and can be treated with paracetamol (Tylenol or Panadol).

Crime and drugs

The crime rate is relatively low in Barbados, but you should be at least as careful as you would be at home. Keep doors locked, avoid beaches after dark and don’t wander around unfamiliar parts of Bridgetown alone. While the island is relatively prosperous, poverty exists. Don’t make yourself a target by parading cameras or expensive jewellery while out and about.

Drugs

Illegal and frowned on by most Bajans.

Alcohol 

Available in copious amounts – watch out for very strong rum punches. Make sure you rehydrate…

Water

You can drink the water – obviously the stuff out of the tap, not the sea. There is a drought – Barbados is an island and its water resources are limited so do your best to conserve it. Why not shower with a friend?

Barbados health advice

Help!

Emergency medical treatment is of a good standard in Barbados, but can be expensive. Make sure you carry health insurance so you can claim back any costs.

Ambulance Service – 511
Fire Service – 311
Police Service – 211