People across the nation and around the world will gather this long-weekend to mark, and of course, celebrate Easter. Whether you are heading to the beach, camping, spending the day by the pool, or having a few beers with mates surrounding a seafood barbecue, make sure you ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
If there is a definitive way of celebrating in Australia, it is with a Barbecue (BBQ). Make sure you sizzle your BBQ safely this Easter long-weekend by taking note of the following safety tips:
- Set up your BBQ in a well ventilated area on a firm, level base sheltered from the wind and rain
- Make sure the BBQ is at least one meter away from any other objects, including the house, shrubs, and plastic blow up pools
- Check cylinders for rust or damage and make sure connections are clear and fit properly before lighting.
- Never use a match to check for naked flames
- Make sure children are aware of how close they can come to the BBQ. Have an adult on BBQ supervision to help keep children a safe distance away. This will help avoid people getting burnt or injuring themselves with BBQ tools
- Never bring a BBQ indoors, even if it rains. There is a potential fire and carbon monoxide hazard
- Have an emergency supply of water nearby, and a fire extinguisher, if possible.
If someone is burnt by the BBQ, you can learn how to treat the burn correctly by clicking here.
Easter, accompanied with warm weather and a four-day long weekend makes for one of the most high risk times on Australia Roads. Driver’s must remember that travelling during holiday periods can be more risky because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness, people driving in unfamiliar environments and a high number of people who could be driving under the influence of alcohol.
Australia Wide First Aid recommend the following 10 tips when embarking on your Easter long-weekend get away.
- Plan Ahead and Be Flexible. Plan which route you are going to take and which locations you are going to stop for rest or stay along the way.
- Be Alert to Changes. Check relevant travel and traffic information when you plan your eater long-weekend getaway. This will help you plan around and avoid congestion and road works.
- Drive to the Conditions. “Conditions” doesn’t just mean the weather conditions. Take into account traffic conditions, speed limits, time of day, state laws, children in the car and your ability to drive.
- Be Aware of Fatigue. If you choose to drive in non-congested times, particularly in the early hours of the morning when your body is programmed to sleep, you should be aware of the signs of fatigue; bloodshot eyes, frequent blinking, and yawning. Australia Wide First Aid encourages not to drive when you would otherwise be sleeping. Fatigue will set in and the only cure is sleep.
- Identify the Safest Route, not the Fastest. Take into account hazards such as trees, ditches, narrow shoulders, pot holes, and dirt roads.
- Before You Travel. Check your vehicle including tyre tread and pressure, lights, breaks, engine oil, coolant and power steering fluid. Consider getting your car serviced before long distance travel.
- Check Your Trailers and Caravans. Ensure all attachments including chains and plugs are secure.
- Be Patient. Holiday driving can be frustrating with busy roads and potentially slower drivers who are sightseeing. Be cautious and don’t be provoked by other drivers aggressive behaviour.
- Buckle Up Safely. Seat belts save lives. It is as simple as that. As the driver, it is your responsibility to make sure every passenger in the car is buckled up.
- Remember, You Are Sharing The Road. Traffic volume undoubtedly increase during the holiday season with larger, slower vehicles in addition to those towing trailers, caravans and camper-vans
Be Sun Smart
Being Australian comes with the risk of developing skin cancer. Unfortunately, it is the most common form of cancer in Australia. Under the Easter long-weekend sun, your skin can burn in as little as 15 minutes, increasing your risk of developing skin cancer.
The good thing about skin cancer is that is it largely preventable. How? All you have to do is apply a combination of these five steps:
- SLIP on protective clothing. Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible and is made from closed weaved materials such as cotton, polyester or linen.
- SLOP on SPF30+ or higher sunscreen. Make sure your sunscreen is broad spectrum and water resistant. Apply sunscreen to clean, dry skin at least 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.
- SLAP on a hat. A broad brimmed or bucket style hat provides the ultimate protection for the face, nose, neck and ears which are common skin cancer sites. Caps and visors do not provide adequate protection.
- SEEK shade. Make use of the trees and man-made shade structures, or bring your own such as an umbrella. Whatever you use as shade, ensure it casts a dark shadow.
- SLIDE on some sunglasses. Sunglasses, in combination with a broad brimmed hat can reduce UV radiation exposure to the eyes by up to 98 per cent. Choose close fitting sunglasses that meet the Australia Standard AS 1067. It is estimated 20 per cent of cataracts occur due to UV exposure to the eye. Remember, sunglasses are just as important for children, as they are for adults.
With many people getting away to the coast for a four-day long weekend, public swimming pools and beaches can get crowded. Remember to always supervise your children (don’t let children supervise children) and never swim after drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect or see on television. If you are spending time near the water this Easter, be sure you, your family and your friends know the untold signs of someone struggling in the water:
- Head low in the water, mouth at water level
- Head tilted back and mouth open
- Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
- Eyes closed
- Hair over forehead and eyes
- Hyperventilating or gasping
- Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
- Trying to roll over on to their back
- Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder
When you’re out in the sun and drinking alcohol, you should consider drinking extra amounts of water leading up to the long weekend. Hydration is extremely important especially for those who have pre-existing health conditions. The elderly, young and active need special consideration. Don’t forget, HYDRATION IS KEY.
Top tips for keeping hydrated include:
- Drink plenty of water. Consider consuming a sports drink if you are being active in the sun for over an hour
- Moderate your intake of alcohol
- Avoid long periods in the sun
- Wear plenty of sunscreen and a board brimmed hat
- Re-hydrate in between beverages with a non-alcoholic drink such as soda or water
If someone is experiencing extreme hydration, ensure you monitor their conditions. They could be experiencing heat exhaustion or in severe cases, heat stroke.
Australia Wide First Aid wish you a safe and enjoyable Easter long-weekend. We encourage to consider your safety, but don’t forget to Have Fun!