Wellbeing tips to stay safe in summer
While information about the health risks posed by the coronavirus is all around us, there are other things to keep in mind when it comes to staying safe in the summer months.
Healthdirect Australia chief medical officer, Dr Nirvana Luckraj, says managing our health and wellbeing these holidays is more important than ever.
“In summer people are more likely to experience heat stroke, sunburn, dehydration, bites and stings, heat rashes and the effects of too much alcohol,” Dr Luckraj says.
Healthdirect Australia offers the following tips to stay safe in summer:
Barbeque like a pro
Avoid food poisoning by keeping barbecue meat and veggies cold and covered until ready to be used, advises Food Standards Australia and New Zealand. Use different plates and utensils for raw and cooked foods; and cook all meat for long enough for juices to run clear. Don’t keep leftovers if they’ve been out of the fridge for more than two hours.
Don’t drink and dive
Adult men are far more likely to drown than women, and alcohol – and illicit drugs – is considered a major risk factor. It’s best to avoid drinking around water and swimming or taking a boat out under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Watch your little swimmers
Even if your child is a confident swimmer, they must be supervised by an adult when near water – even shallow paddling pools or baths. Among children aged under 14, most drownings in 2020/21 occurred in swimming pools, lakes and rivers, and in most cases drowning occurred when the child was swimming, playing or fell into the water.
Watch out for bites and stings
Bites and stings from insects are sometimes dangerous. Learn how to tell the difference between a bite or a sting and how to treat them.
Count your drinks
Australian Guidelines recommend healthy adults drink no more than four standard drinks per day, and no more than 10 standard drinks per week. Set a drinks limit for the day and stick to it.
Protect yourself from the sun
Sun damage is caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation, not the temperature, so an overcast summer day can have similar UV levels to a sunny summer day.
Meanwhile, Dr Luckraj encourages those feeling unwell to use the Symptom Checker on the healthdirect app for reliable health advice.
For those in need of urgent medical attention, you can find your closest emergency department on the healthdirect app, or call triple zero (000).