Thousands of people in Sussex are heading for the summer sunshine. Here we consider advice from experts on making your holiday safe.

Whether you are planning to soak up the sun in Spain, go for a trek in the Himalayas or spend a week closer to home in Brighton, there are plenty of steps to take to avoid health problems.

GPs and pharmacists across the county are warning people to take the necessary precautions when taking a break.

Pharmacist Phil Stewart, from Brighton says it is vital to check whether any vaccinations are needed when going abroad.

He said: "About two thirds of holidaymakers don't get medical advice before visiting exotic locations.

"It is very important to either get expert information on the right injections or find out whether the ones you may already have had are still effective.

"There are different brands of anti-malaria tablets on the market so it is also important to make sure people get the ones that are best suited to them.

"People should look for advice on vaccinations six weeks before leaving the country and no fewer than two weeks before.

"A course of something such as anti-rabies injections can take about a month."

People are also urged to make sure they take a mosquito repellent with them. The most common mosquito-spread infection is malaria and, last year, more than 2,000 Britons contracted it.

Bad cases of travel sickness can lead to dehydration from fluid lost through vomiting.

If someone feels ill while travelling, they should try to lie down if possible and avoid reading.

There are several ranges of travel sickness tablets available and chewing crystallised ginger can also help.

Long-haul flights can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) where blood clots can form in a deep vein, usually in the legs.

One in four cases with obvious symptoms such as calf pain result in the clot travelling to the lung which can be fatal.

Those at greatest risk include obese people, those with varicose veins and women taking the Pill.

People can keep blood circulating while sitting down by wiggling their toes and rotating their ankles. Special foot cushions can help and so can walking around for five minutes during every hour of travel.

Mr Stewart says there are also plenty of precautions to take to avoid getting an upset stomach and diarrhoea while travelling abroad.

He said: "About half of UK travellers abroad get diarrhoea and this is nearly always caused by a microbe, usually a form of E. coli, which has been transmitted through poor hygiene.

"If possible, people should always used boiled or purified water, even for ice cubes or when cleaning their teeth.

"They should also avoid green salads and ensure all fruit is peeled."

Treatments include anti-diarrhoea tablets, indigestion remedies and rehydration formulas.

These are very important, especially if a child or elderly person becomes ill. The body needs fluid, salts and minerals to function properly. Loss of water and salts in vulnerable people can lead to death if left untreated.

Cancer Research UK says more than 5,000 Britons are diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year, two in every 100 cancers.

People are particularly vulnerable if they have fair skin and blue eyes, have a tendency to freckle and have lots of moles.

Those who burn easily and have been badly sunburned in the past five years should also be careful.

Experts suggest people should cover up between 11am and 3pm, wear a sun hat and apply sunscreen of at least factor 15 every two hours. People should also drink plenty of water or fruit juice but try and avoid alcohol and caffeine which are dehydrating.

Closer to home, people are also being urged to take extra care if they are planning a barbecue. Cooks tend to be more lax on hygiene when they are preparing barbecued food.

The Food Standards Agency says people should wait until charcoal is glowing before cooking, keep meat in the fridge until it is ready to cook and turn food regularly.

It is important to use separate utensils for raw meat and cooked foods and to cook meat thoroughly, possibly pre-cooking it indoors before finishing it outside.