In 2012, swimming and drowning holiday accidents seemed to be a regular occurrence, as holidaymakers braved the poor weather and ventured out into the sea unaware of dangerously strong currents.
Falls from hotel balconies and staircases are also becoming more common among holidaymakers – especially young adults on holiday at popular clubbing resorts like Magaluf.
It is always distressing to read about holidaymakers who have been seriously injured or lost their lives on holiday – and at a time which should have been the happiest of their lives for them and their family and friends.
Many holidaymakers also fail to take out holiday insurance, believing that the EHIC health card for travellers abroad will cover them for medical expenses – and that the local consular office will arrange and pay for transport home.
Some EU countries have now imposed limits on the EHIC scheme, which mean holidaymakers will only be covered for injury and illness which local residents are entitled to. In Spain and Greece especially, the economic situation has caused restrictions to be imposed on the extent of the EHIC remit – and some holidaymakers injured in accidents abroad have found themselves landed with a large bill for medical expenses through failing to take out holiday insurance as well as obtaining an EHIC.
Consular assistance will also not cover any expenses incurred if you have an accident or are taken ill abroad – so if you are injured in a holiday accident and do not have holiday insurance, it is likely you will have to beg or borrow the funds to pay medial expenses and a medically assisted flight home.
Some of the most common types of holiday accidents are road traffic accidents abroad, but other common holiday accidents include falls from height and slips, trips and falls.
Here is a list of the top 10 holiday accidents to avoid:
1. Balcony falls
2. Falls on stairs
3. Slip in shower
4. Swimming pool accidents
5. Cooking accident
6. Fire accident
7. Fall in restaurant
8. Lift accident
9. Carbon monoxide poisoning on holiday
10. Glass accident.
It is also important to remember that sports accidents are becoming more common abroad, as holidaymakers enjoy horse riding, water sports, paragliding and ballooning – often without checking whether they have the correct holiday insurance to cover the activity.
It is also important to check the insurance cover of the company offering any activities – as well as making sure all staff are trained, and suitable safety equipment which fits correctly is provided.
Taking part in activities after drinking or eating a heavy meal or taking medication is another factor in some holiday accidents – but most incidences involving drowning either in a hotel swimming pool or the sea takes place in the first days of a holiday, when parents may be tired from the journey and children overexcited.
The first few days of a holiday should be spent acclimatising and getting to know your holiday destination – and although it is tempting to literally plunge into having fun straight away, wait until you are relaxed and have got to know your new surroundings better. A slippery dining room floor or poolside pathway might seem innocuous, but a fall on a hard marble floor or a tumble into a swimming pool after a drinking session could just put an end to the beginning of your holiday fun and leave you with a large medical bill to pay – not the sort of holiday souvenirs you want at all.