English for PTA


After the long winter months without our friend the sun, a lot of us forget how unfriendly he can be if we overdo our re-acquaintance with him in the first days of spring and early summer.

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

Seite 1/1 3 Minuten

The sun is often accompanied by annoyingly blood-thirsty insects, such as midges, horse-flies, wasps and ticks, as soon as it is warm enough for them to become active after the long winter break. Which is not a lot of fun if you belong to the group of people who suffer from allergies to insect stings. The effects range from a mild skin irritation to anaphylactic shock.

Not only allergies are unpleasant. Some insects such as ticks, forexample, may cause tickborne encephalitis or Lyme disease. But avoidance and prevention are better than cure. A good reason for going to the pharmacy …

Pharmacy customer: Hello.
PTA: Hello.

We are heading off to the sun next week and I realised that we need to stock up on insect protection and sun screen.
That is very sensible. It’s amazing how many people think of those things at the last minute, or even not at all. What do you recommend? Do you have any children? Yes, we do. My son Jason, who is twelve and my daughter Emma, who will soon be seven. Could you describe their skin types?

Certainly. Emma is fair-skinned, she has red-blonde hair and blue eyes.
And freckles!

How did you know? She is just like her dad! He often gets sunburn.
Just guessing really! She would need quite a high protection factor as would your husband. Is Jason the same?

No, he’s more like me really. He has never had sunburn. Neither have I.
Well, both you and your son are what we call a type III skin-type. That’s the type that always gets a tan and never or hardly ever gets sunburnt. You daughter is a typical “Celtic” type I. You still need sun protection though.

Which one?
For your daughter and your husband I recommend an SPF between 30 or – even better – 50+. But you still have to renew the sun protection regularly. And this one here would be suitable for you and your son. It’s got an SPF of 20, again regular recreaming, please.

Okay. So, what about insect repellent?
We have this one here that is effective against midges and horse-flies for 7–8 hours, and against ticks for about 3 or 4 hours. You can use it for your daughter as well. It’s suitable for sensitive skin. And if Emma is a Celtic-type she most likely has sensitive skin.

Yes, that’s true. Is there anything else that you recommend?
It might be a good idea to take this gel here for the eventuality that someone does get stung or bitten. It cools and soothes the affected area of skin and helps to reduce the irritation. Proper clothing is also good.

Proper clothing?
Well, not only clothing to protect you from insects. But also from the sun. You see, the suns rays have become much stronger in the last thirty years. Some scientists even use the term aggressive to describe them. The best protection is given by „Australian Standard“ textiles. These are textiles that provide much more sun protection than normal cotton. Wearing a hat is also a good idea.

Now that is good advice! Thank you.
You are welcome.

Bye! And enjoy your holiday

re-acquaintance Bekannschaft
accompanied by begleitet von
annoyingly ärgerlicherweise
midges Mücken
horse-flies Bremsen
ticks Zecken
tick-borne Zecken-Hirnhautentzündung,
encephalitis Frühsommer-Meningoenzephalitis (FSME)
Lyme disease Borreliose, Lyme-Krankheit
avoidance Vermeidung
stock up on (something) sich mit etwas eindecken
sensible vernünftig
fair-skinned hellhäutig
sunburnt (hier) sonnenverbrannt
SPF (sun protection factor) Sonnenschutzfaktor
insect repellent Insektenschutzmittel
scientists Wissenschaftler

Den vollständigen Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 04/11 auf Seite 58.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker