Summer is almost here! To help you get ready for the best summer of your life, we’ve put together our Vibe Health top tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy this summer!
Slip Slop Slap
According to the Cancer Council, skin cancers account for around 80 per cent of all newly diagnosed cancers, and one in every two Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. In fact, Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world!
The only way to protect yourself and your family from skin cancer is to follow the golden rules:
SLIP on sun protective clothing.
SLOP on SPF30+ sunscreen and reapply every two hours.
SLAP on a broad-brimmed hat.
SLIDE on wrap-around sunglasses that conform to the Australian Sunglasses Standard AS/NZS 1067:2003.
Mums and dads – make sure your kids are regularly reapplying sunscreen throughout the day, especially if they’ve been swimming.
You’ll still get to enjoy all the great things that summer has to offer – you just won’t be putting yourself at risk of skin cancer!
Drowning deaths in Australia have been on the rise since 2004, particularly in the under-five age group, according to the Australian Water Safety Council. But there is so much that you can do to protect yourself and your family from drowning.
At the pool
- Adults should always supervise kids, especially the little ones, when they’re swimming.
- Always keep the pool gate closed, and make sure there are no objects near the pool fence that kids could use to climb over.
- Have your kids taught how to swim by an accredited swimming instructor
- Learn First Aid. Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life
- saving skill that anyone can learn.
At the beach
Always swim between the flags at the beach and obey any instructions given by lifeguards.
At the waterhole
- Always check water depth and the possibility of submerged objects like logs or rocks before swimming in a river, creek, lagoon or dam.
- Never swim alone
Nothing spoils a good picnic or barbecue like a bout of food poisoning. Outdoor picnics and barbies are great in the warmer weather, but food can become contaminated faster in hot weather.
There are around 4.2 million cases of food poisoning every year in Australia. Don’t let your friends and family become a statistic! Follow a few simple rules, and you can sizzle those sangers without fear!
- Keep meat in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it, keep all salads and other perishable foods in the fridge until needed, and keep all food covered until you’re ready to eat it.
- Always cook chicken and hamburger patties so that the juices run clear – there should be no hint of pink in the centre.
- Use a clean plate and clean utensils for cooked meat. Never re-use the same ones you used for raw meat without washing them first.
- Separate raw and cooked foods.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
- Keep utensils clean, and wash hands with soap and dry thoroughly after preparing food and before eating.
Water Water Everywhere!
Dehydration can happen quickly in the summer heat, so make sure that you and your family always have water handy and drink plenty of fresh water throughout the day.
Take special care to make sure little fellas drink enough water. They can become dehydrated much more easily than adults.
Keep the Bugs at Bay
Insect bites can be annoying and very itchy! One of the few downsides of summer is that warm weather is when the creepy crawlies come out to play.
You can help keep the bugs at bay by using insect repellent, installing flyscreens on your windows, and wearing long pants and sleeves when you’re outside in the evenings.
While some insect bites only itch, others can really hurt, or even make you really sick.
Remind your kids to be careful around piles of wood or rubbish, garages and sheds, and other places where biting creatures like to hide.
Red back and funnel web spiders are the only poisonous spiders in Australia but other spiders can cause a bad reaction. If you or one of your family is bitten by an unknown spider, try to keep it if possible. Wash the bite and keep it clean – an ice pack may help with any swelling and pain.
Ring the Poisons Information Centre or check with your doctor, and always seek medical attention if you’re unsure.
Call an ambulance on 000 if you or one of your family has symptoms like nausea, vomiting, pale colour, sweating, pain or difficulty breathing after a spider bite. Immobilise the whole limb with a firm bandage.
Turn off the Telly!
Kids these days spend way too much time in front of a screen, whether they’re watching TV, playing a computer game, emailing or surfing the net. Some teenagers also spend up to 100 minutes a day sending and receiving text messages on their mobile phone!
The Department of Health and Ageing recommends that kids should have no more than two hours a day of screen time for entertainment (so not including computers use at school, for example).
To reduce screen time in your house:
- Send the kids outside to play, walk the dog or run a message to the neighbours.
- Make “screen time contracts” with your kids. Agree that they’ll be allowed to watch a certain amount of television, or play certain video games at certain times if they also get an hour of exercise and do their homework.
- Only have televisions in shared living areas. Children with their own TVs watch way more TV.
- Turn off the television when no-one is watching it, at meal times, and at bed time.