Summer safety: Tips for a healthy holiday season

Summer is the perfect time to hit the great outdoors with family and friends. From bushwalks, to beaches, nature can be a great stress reducer. 

While getting outside can be great to help keep us healthy, it comes with its own set of risks.  

Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSLHD) population health deputy director Christine Newman shares some summer-time tips on how to keep and play safe. 

Water safety 

When visiting rivers, beaches or pools, be conscious about water safety.  

“If you visit the beach, only swim at patrolled beaches and stay between the red and yellow flags,” Christine said. 

“Wear a life jacket when boating or rock fishing, check the weather conditions before venturing out and keep an eye out for your family or friends.” 

Unpredictable weather  

Aussie summers are often subject to unpredictable and severe weather, so it’s also important to make a few adjustments at home. 

“We encourage people to plan ahead and monitor the daily weather forecast when planning outdoor activities,” Christine said.  

“Make sure trampolines, umbrellas and outdoor furniture are secure and your gutters are clean and remove any overhanging tree branches. 

Sun and heat safety  

Extreme heat can cause light-headedness, irritability and restlessness. To beat the heat drink plenty of water and avoid sugary, hot and alcoholic drinks. 

“We also urge people to try and keep cool, avoid exercise during the hottest parts of the day and be SunSmart when you’re outdoors.” 

Keep your body and house cool by closing windows and curtains/blinds, and keep in contact with elderly neighbours and relatives. 

Bites and stings  

Famous for that annoying buzz that can keep you awake on a hot summer’s night, the dreaded mosquito can be the start of more serious problems than just a bad night’s sleep.   

For most people a mosquito bite will cause mild discomfort and itchiness. However, some mosquitos can carry a range of diseases including Ross River virus which can result in joint swelling and pain, fatigue and aches that can last for many months.   

You can reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitos by: 

  • putting up flyscreens in your house 
  • sleeping under mosquito nets when camping and use netting to cover prams  
  • avoid being outside at dawn and dusk when mozzies are most active 
  • wear loose-fitted clothing and covered shoes outdoors 
  • use recommended mosquito repellents but avoid using repellents on infants under three months of age 
  • eliminate backyard mozzie breeding areas by emptying pot plant trays which fill with water. 

Finally remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19 and follow the NSW Health advice and regulations. If you’re feeling unwell, get tested and self-isolate.  

For the latest COVID-19 information, click here.  

For further information on mosquitos, click here and heat safety, click here