Beware of fun in sun risks

People on beach

With hot weather expected across the state in early January, Ambulance Tasmania acting CEO Kevin Bate has advised Tasmanians to take a few simple precautions to prevent common summer accidents.

Mr Bate said warm weather meant Tasmanians flocked to beaches, swimming pools and other outdoor areas where hazards posed a danger, especially to young children.

"This warm spell also serves as an important reminder that drinking plenty of fluids during long, hot days is extremely important, particularly for the elderly," Mr Bate said.

"The elderly are less able to cope with the heat and if you know of a family member who might be struggling, you should make sure you check on them regularly.

"Parents also need to make sure young children drink enough fluids when they are out in the sun for long periods of time. 

"Children should also never be left alone in cars, as this can prove fatal in hot weather.

"Children often feature prominently in accidents over the Christmas-New Year period especially when it comes to their experimentation with new toys and gifts.

"Make sure your children have adequate safety gear especially when riding bikes or mobile sports equipment like scooters, skateboards and longboards.

"It's also important to remember to give your children age appropriate toys to avoid potential choking and be vigilant with them around pools, beaches, open fires and BBQs."

Mr Bate urged Tasmanians to call Ambulance Tasmania in the case of a genuine medical emergency by dialling 000.

"It's important to stay calm, listen to operator's questions and remain on the line until the operator has all the important information.

"Try to answer the questions as clearly and accurately as possible," Mr Bate said.

Summer safety checklist:

·                         Keep up your fluids - especially for young children and the elderly.  Drink plenty of water and make sure you check on elderly friends and family.

·                         Try to keep out of the sun by finding shade and make sure you wear 30+ sunscreen, a hat and appropriate clothing to prevent sunburn.

·                         Never leave children alone in a vehicle.

·                         Limit your alcohol intake around areas like swimming pools and the beach - especially if supervising children.

·                         Swim between the flags at patrolled beaches and make sure that someone knows where you are heading if swimming alone.

·                         Don't leave children unattended by the pool - it only takes a few minutes for a tragedy to happen.

·                         Always check the water depth in rivers, creeks and dams and for submerged objects before jumping in.

·                         Check your BBQ gas bottle has been stored correctly and look for any leaks or unusual smells coming from the bottle.

·                         Keep children away from hot plates and flames.


3 January 2013