As we approach Easter weekend, the NHS in north Cumbria explains how you can be prepared for bumps and bruises, niggles and sneezes but also where to get advice for anything worse.

Salli Pilcher, associate director of nursing at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We all hope that the sun will be shining over the bank holiday so we can enjoy some time outside with some friends. Remember only six people or two households though, COVID-19 is still circulating so we need to keep our guard up.

“Tree pollen is rising at the moment meaning being outside might trigger hay fever in some people, so make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with antihistamines.

“A well-stocked medicine cabinet is always helpful – paracetamol can help with headaches and cold symptoms and ibruprofen is an anti-inflammatory for minor bumps and grazes. These plus things like antiseptic creams and medicine for tummy ache, diarrhoea and constipation are all available over the counter in many pharmacies. If you catch your arm on the barbeque or trip over a child’s toy and bump your leg having these in your cabinet means you can administer self-care.”

Maybe that headache has lasted longer that you felt it should or that tummy ache isn’t getting better? If you feel you need to speak to someone about your symptoms then you can talk to your local pharmacist, they are qualified health professionals who can help you understand the support you need. Pharmacy opening times are available on North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust’s website. Also qualified and experienced health professionals are on the end of the phone 24 hours a day by calling 111. Out of hours 111 are able to book you an appointment with a doctor or a specialist if that is appropriate.”

Dr Helen Horton a GP in Distington said: “As restrictions start to lift slowly we would urge everyone to keep following the guidelines to keep everyone safe and to take care over the bank holiday weekend.

“If you feel under the weather remember our fantastic colleagues at community pharmacy might be able to help you over the counter and that if you need medical advice, and it isn’t an emergency, you can call NHS111.”

Salli added: “If you think you have symptoms of COVID -19 (fever, cough, change in taste or smell) it is very important that you self-isolate and arrange for test. We need to make sure that the infection rates stay low.”

If someone is suffering from a life threatening condition such as a heart attack, stroke or a severe trauma then you should call 999 as that is an emergency and getting help quickly is the most important thing you can do to help that person.