Safety under the summer sun

Safety under the summer sun

11 January 2017

With a new year comes a new set of goals and resolutions for many of us. The usual suspects at the top of the list include be healthy and do more exercise, leading to spending more time outdoors and at the beach, especially for those of us who may be regretting the third (or fourth!) helping of Pavlova over the Christmas break. These are fantastic resolutions, however, the New Year coincides with hot summer days, which can mean painful sunburns and potential heatstroke if the right precautions aren’t taken.

We all know we should ‘Slip Slop Slap’, but sometimes we forget to slop on the sunscreen as often as needed, resulting in sun burn. It’s a common misconception that the best way to treat sunburn is to reach for the Aloe Vera gel. In fact, Aloe Vera, rather than cooling the burn, actually acts as an insulator and can exacerbate the burn further. Instead, follow these four simple steps to treat your sunburn:


South Australia is home to some extremely hot weather, with the mercury rising to over 40 degrees Celsius on a regular basis and extreme UV ratings daily. For days like these we recommend staying out of the heat, ensuring you drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous exercise. However, as much as we would all love to hunker down under the air conditioning, sometimes going outside is unavoidable. This weather can be especially hard on the young, elderly and venerable, so it’s important to remember hot weather can result in heat exhaustion, where fluid loss through sweating reduces the amount of water in the body, thereby reducing blood volume and blood flow to vital organs and the body can go into a mild form of shock.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion
- feeling hot, exhausted, weak and fatigued
- persistent headache
- thirst and nausea
- giddiness and faintness
- rapid breathing and shortness of breath
-pale, cool, clammy skin
- rapid, weak pulse

If you find yourself feeling these symptoms we recommend taking the following action:

 

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your furry friends. Hot weather can be very stressful to our pets and wildlife. Make sure your pets have somewhere cool, shaded and well ventilated to rest as well as plenty of clean fresh water. Do not exercise animals in hot, humid conditions as they are susceptible to heat stroke and can burn their feet on hot pavement. If you must walk the dog, walk them in the early morning and or early evening to avoid the hottest part of the day. And lastly, never leave pets in a vehicle, even with the windows down as even on mild days the temperature within a car can reach over 47 degrees in 60 minutes.

So remember, slip slop slap when you’re out in the sun, stay hydrated and avoid strenuous exercise on those very hot summer days!