Source: Fire and Safety Australia
Summer is a great opportunity to spend more time outdoors with family and friends but it is important to pay attention to your body and the surrounding elements to ensure you stay safe during the warmer months.
Here are 6 tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe and happy during the summertime:
1. Keep Hydrated
During summer, your body heats up quicker than it does during the colder months, it is important to listen to your body when it is hot and hydrate appropriately. When you feel yourself start to sweat, replenish the liquid lost by drinking water as excessive sweating can lead to dehydration. The combination of both hot temperatures and dehydration can lead to serious heat-related illnesses.
Before you become dehydrated, you will feel thirsty and your mouth will become dry and sticky. Do not ignore these early signs, as even a little dehydration can become a big problem.
Health authorities recommend drinking 2 litres of water a day.
2. Be Sun Smart
Showing sun safety during the summertime and all throughout the year can dramatically reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.
To protect your skin and yourself from sun during the summer time it is suggested that you follow these guidlines:
Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide
Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
Slop on broad spectrum, water resistant SPF30+ (or higher) sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
Slap on a hat – broad brim or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck, and ears.
Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.
It is important for your safety to try to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible, especially during the suns peak times of 10 am – 3 pm (Standard time) or 11 am – 4 pm (Daylight savings time). If you do go into the sunlight, wear protective clothing including a hat, sunglasses, long pants and a shirt.
3. First Aid
You should always carry a First Aid kit with you regardless of the season, however summer is a great opportunity to review and replenish your First Aid kit. It is best to prefill your kits with products that are relevant to where you will be, also, check the expiry on perishable products to ensure they are still current and safe to use.
Summer is also a good time to refresh your CPR training as it expires every 12 months. Having the confidence and competency to provide CPR saves lives. There can be an increase of medical issues during the summertime due to the combination of warmer temperatures and people overexerting themselves. Having accredited First Aid and CPR training allows you to assist in these scenarios and ensure that you are operating as safely as possible.
During summer there is an increase of barbeques and campfires, it is important to take caution when operating around open flames and flammable liquids. Have a fire extinguisher handy in case of an emergency and make sure you are trained and feel comfortable operating it in case of an emergency.
Be sure to listen out for weather warnings, particularly fire safety warnings from your local fire brigade and CFA.
Take caution and ensure that when there is a fire ban that you abide by it.
Prior to consumption do not leave food out in the warm weather.
Food Safety advises that perishable food should not sit out for more than 2 hours and in hot weather perishable food should not sit out for more than 1 hour. When heading outdoors a cooler bag can be used to store food, try to avoid opening the cooler bag too much though as this leads to the cool conditions escaping.
There and 4 simple steps to follow to keep your food safe during the summertime:
Clean – make sure all tools/ utensils and foods are clean by washing them prior to use.
Separate – keep foods and tools separate to avoid cross-contamination
Cook – cook different foods on a separate part of the grill to avoid cross contamination.
Chill – if you wish to keep the leftover food to eat later be sure to chill it rather than leaving it out, this can avoid the growth of bacteria and ensure you remain healthy.
Insects enjoy the summertime and often come more during these months. Some insect bites can be dangerous so it is important to protect yourself during the warmer months when you are more prone to bug bites.
Here are 3 easy tips to help you avoid dangerous insects and their bites during the summertime:
Clothing– wear pants and long sleeves to limit your exposed skin, also avoid bright colours and floral prints as these attract insects such as bees.
Scent– avoid perfumes and scented soaps
Repellent– use bug and insect repellent as an extra layer of protection, try to avoid bug zappers though as these attract and kill far more beneficial insects than pests.